Source: UF hires NFL assistant as defensive coordinator


Published: Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 2:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 2:40 p.m.

A source close to the Arizona Cardinals confirmed Thursday night that Cardinals' secondary coach Teryl Austin has accepted an offer to become Florida's new defensive coordinator.

There were reports out of Arizona earlier in the day that Austin had taken the job, but a UF source said those reports were not accurate.

Based on information Thursday night from a source close to the Cardinals, it is now a done deal. It will become official when UF makes an announcement.

Austin emerged as the top candidate to fill the vacancy left by George Edwards after interviewing for the job in Gainesville on Wednesday. Another candidate, Clemson co-defensive coordinator Charlie Harbison, withdrew his name from consideration Thursday, turning the focus to Austin, who has spent the last seven years coaching in the NFL with the Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks.

One of the reports Thursday saying Austin has accepted the UF job was posted on the Cardinals' official Web site. The other came from a Phoenix radio station, citing an unnamed source.

Austin could not be reached for comment.

This is the second time in a little more than a month that the Gators have dipped into the NFL to find a new defensive coordinator.

Austin will replace Edwards, the former Miami Dolphins' linebackers coach who bolted from UF after being on the job less than a month to become the defensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills.

Austin has spent the past seven years coaching in the NFL, the past three with the Cardinals. Before that, he was the Seattle Seahawks secondary coach for four seasons. He has coached in two Super Bowls, one with Cardinals, the other with the Seahawks.

Austin also has 12 years of collegiate coaching experience. He started out as a graduate assistant coach at Penn State, then went on to coach the secondaries at Wake Forest (1993-95), Syracuse (1996-1998) and Michigan (1999-2002).

He has worked previously with two members of the UF coaching staff — Addazio at Syracuse and Scot Loeffler at Michigan.

There were also reports late Thursday that University of Miami linebackers coach Michael Barrow was in Gainesville interviewing for the co-defensive coordinator's position.

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or andreu@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at gatorsports.com.

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