Two MSU assistants with UF ties join Mullen

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Wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales answers questions during post practice interviews at The Swamp Aug. 27, 2008. [File]

 

[Updated: 3:24 p.m., 11-28] New Florida coach Dan Mullen has gone right to work assembling his coaching staff.

The anticipated became official Tuesday, when Mullen announced that two of his longtime assistants at Mississippi State — who also were on the same Urban Meyer staff with Mullen at UF — have joined his staff.

Billy Gonzales and John Hevesy were hired and went right to work Tuesday, hitting the recruiting trail to meet with prospects.

At Mississippi State, Gonzales and Hevesy were co-offensive coordinators. Gonzales coached the wide receivers and was the passing game coordinator, while Hevesy was the offensive line coach and running game coordinator.

There were also unconfirmed reports Tuesday that Mullen is not retaining interim head coach Randy Shannon and five other assistants — offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, tight ends coach Greg Nord, secondary coach Corey Bell, wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon and defensive line coach Robb Akey. There was no official word from UF on those six assistants.

Four coaches remain on staff at this time — defensive line coach Chris Rumph, offensive line coach Brad Davis, running backs coach Tim Skipper and running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider, according to reports.

Skipper was on the road recruiting Tuesday.

The status and roles of all the coaches currently on the staff will be determined at a later date.
With MSU bowl eligible, Gonzales and Hevesy likely will continue to coach for the Bulldogs through the bowl game.

Gonzales was on Meyer’s UF staff from 2005-09 and coached the wide receivers. Hevesy coached the Gator offensive line and tight ends from 2005-08, leaving to join Mullen’s staff at MSU.

MSU defensive coordinator Todd Grantham also could eventually be joining Mullen’s UF staff in the same capacity. But he is considered a candidate for the Bulldogs’ head coaching job vacated by Mullen.

Lee Begley announced on her Twitter account Tuesday that she will become Director of Recruiting Operations at Florida. She held the same post at MSU under Mullen.

“I will ALWAYS cherish my time at Mississippi State. It’s a special place with special people! Looking forward to a new chapter in Gainesville!,” she wrote.

Mullen said Monday he could name his coordinators sometime in the next few weeks.

“Hopefully, we’ll have some of that done sooner rather than later to have some of our coordinators in place,” Mullen said. “I think I’ll have some of my assistant coaches in place in the next two weeks, and possibly finalize it after the bowl game. There’s a lot of people still playing football right now.”

 

48 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, houston gator. Nuss, Nord, Shannon, and a few others will not be retained. Seider, Skipper, Rumph, all still on the staff as well.

  2. I’ve never done it before, but I think I could help out, say, as head play-caller. Bring a new perspective to the game. Know what I mean? I’d do it for maybe $600,000. Let me know.

  3. Gonzales was a great assistant before and i always like hevesy, thought both would be on to even higher roles but glad to have them. I’m sorry for the assistants that are going.
    I will get killed for saying this, but you have to wonder if nuss just took the blame for what wasn’t his fault. with grier things looked really good. so best wishes, coach nuss, you have a right to be a little peeved. We might see you in the nfl is my thinking.
    coach Shannon, etc. i can only wish them well and that better circumstances will come for them soon.

    • mveal you’re a good soul for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but in this case I think the criticism of Nussmier is more than warranted. He was a weak OC at Michigan, when he had a defensive head coach (Brady Hoke) that basically gave him full control of the offense. At the end of the day, it was McElwain’s fault for even hiring him to begin with, an old buddy back from the Alabama days. And yes, I am sure some of those pitches to the short side on 2nd and 4 were McElwain calls. Even if coach “aw shucks” had stayed, there would have been enormous pressure to get rid of Nuss. He just wasn’t good. At all. Long story short-it’s still all on McElwain. He had no ability to consistently evaluate talent. With coaches or players. He didn’t have that responsibility at Alabama, and, as we have all found out the hard way, choosing the right personnel is a he!! of a lot harder in the SEC than it is in the Mountain West.

  4. My only regret is that Randy Shannon didn’t get a job on this staff for several reasons. I know a HBC has to feel comfortable with his choices and I get that. Randy would be great to maintain for continuity with the Defense (not necessarily as coordinator) as the defensive back or linebackers coach, recruiting south Florida is still a big need and he has done a pretty good job of keeping us competitive down there. But Mullen is entitled to make his own staff, because in three or four years when he is not performing up to par, there will be no excuses as to why his staff was not ready to coach at THE UF.

    • “because in three or four years when he is not performing up to par….” excuse me???? WHEN he is not performing? are you trying to be negative or is that just natural for you?

    • recruiting South Florida got us a whole group of suspended players…

      His inability to recruit and develop LBs speaks for itself. Buh Bye RANDY!!

    • Dude, why don’t you just find another team to support for the next three or four years until the Gators have a coach of whom you approve?

      And when Coach Mullen is still here and has the Gators relevant again, you can just stay gone you fairweather Arschmütze.

    • Yea I am not crazy about Grantham either that was a punk and sleazy move he pulled on Chas Henry back in the day, but DM is the HBC now. He gets to call the shots. I’m sure if Grantham comes here he will claim to be the biggest pro-Gator since Spurrier. One thing I think this illustrates is that we as fans/alumni have much stronger connections to our schools than the majority of coaches do. For them, it’s a job. They try to win for whoever is writing the check. We forget sometimes that for us it’s a passion, it’s personal, but for them it’s just a job.

    • The choke sign was an immature thing to do, but the guy’s a fiery coach who’s passionate about the team he coaches. Florida-Georgia is about as heated a rivalry as it gets. You can’t really fault a coach for being a little too fired up during that game. I’m pretty sure no Gator coach in history has liked Georgia either. Would you have had a problem if one of the Gator coaches did the choke sign to a Georgia player? The fact of the matter is Grantham is a great defensive coach. While at Georgia he had their defense in the top 5. Last season’s MSU defense was top 10 and that’s with half the talent he’ll get at UF. Geoff Collins wound up being be a great hire from MSU and Grantham is just as good.

    • What are you saying? When did Shannon become sole DC and get to say def result are a result of his coaching? Look it up!

      Besides that the DEF has been good 100% because of what WM left.
      You probably agree that def has slowly gone down as WM players have gone to NFL. The def will now have to be rebuilt by new DC as WM players are now gone. Big task!

      Getting DC that can do what WM, KS do would be huge.

      Good news is that UF is only losing Powell, Dawson, Townsend, and credit card chain gang.

      OL is returning. Generally they say that is good. OL has been bad since Tebow jr-sr year. We really need find a way to improve OL. OL is killing the offense.

      LB overall poor & no depth
      QB – no current QB can do the job.
      Hoping DM can fix that one way or another.

    • I can guarantee you that Mike Kent was gone before Mullen was even hired. Stricklin wanted him gone while McElwain was still head coach. No way he was around very long after McElwain was fired.

  5. Man, Randy shannon was a real class act while representing the Gators, I was hoping he would hang on also.He was such a breath of fresh air after listening to Macs crap.

    • I’d love to hear the full story behind it. I’m wondering if he was offered a lesser position and decided he’d rather move on and try staying a DC somewhere else or even a HC.

  6. Nussmeir’s resume: Consistently ranked in the top 120 offenses in the nation. My special “Night of a Thousand Screen Passes” offense known for tiring out defense. My own defense, true, but still. Nationally recognized for my ability to recruit back up quarterbacks from losing teams. Salary negotiable, but after every terrible season will expect raise and extension.

  7. Did we ever run a reverse, a flea flicker, a hook & laddr, or (heaven forbid) a statue of liberty, ever, this year? Instead we got run up the middle, sack, screen, punt (& repeat for 4 quarters)

    • To be fair, we had to keep the playbook within our QB’s ability to grasp it. He’s only had 2.5 years to learn it; he’s just getting started.

  8. I really like what is happening. I really do. I believed Mullen was the prime target from the git go. I really like what is happening! Really!

  9. Always liked Coach Hevesy & Gonzales, two familiar names & good position coaches. Welcome back to the O&B! Hope Coach Mullen gets all of his staff set soon. Certainly helps with recruiting so the players know who they’re coaches will be prior to committing. Go Gators!

  10. I love how we finally have new life in this team and in football. I really enjoy reading all of the articles every day and am excited about the future of our Gator Football program. I was so tired of being negative about the lack of creativity and a very vanilla offense. Thank you Strickland for the Mullen hire. Christmas came early for us Gators.
    Stay positive fellow Gators!

  11. What are you saying? When did Shannon become sole DC and get to say def result are a result of his coaching? Look it up!

    Besides that the DEF has been good 100% because of what WM left.
    You probably agree that def has slowly gone down as WM players have gone to NFL. The def will now have to be rebuilt by new DC as WM players are now gone. Big task!

    Getting DC that can do what WM, KS do would be huge.

    Good news is that UF is only losing Powell, Dawson, Townsend, and credit card chain gang.

    OL is returning. Generally they say that is good. OL has been bad since Tebow jr-sr year. We really need find a way to improve OL. OL is killing the offense.

    LB overall poor & no depth
    QB – no current QB can do the job.
    Hoping DM can fix that one way or another.

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