FLORIDA FOOTBALL

Defense assistant appears to be out


Published: Monday, January 5, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 5, 2004 at 2:02 a.m.
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Florida secondary coach Mike Woodford.

Sun file photo
Mike Woodford, who coached Florida's defensive secondary the last two years, apparently will not be back for a third, sources told The Sun.
Florida head coach Ron Zook would not confirm on Sunday night that Woodford had been let go, but admitted some changes will be made.
"I'm not exactly sure what," Zook said. "I don't want to make any drastic decisions too soon. I haven't talked to all of the coaches yet. Woody probably feels that way after I talked to him (Saturday)."
Woodford said, "Anything like that would have to come from Ron. It's times like this you find out what you're made of."
The 44-year-old Woodford actually left the Florida staff the week following the Gators' loss to Florida State, but was talked into returning by Zook.
Woodford added special teams to his responsibilities in 2003 after Florida was woeful in that department the previous year. The Gator special teams improved this season, but finished with a miserable showing in the Outback Bowl where Eric Wilbur saw his first punt blocked in his short career.
Woodford was responsible for players such as cornerback Keiwan Ratliff, who made several All-American teams, and Guss Scott, an all-Southeastern Conference strong safety. Those players did not start Thursday's game because they missed a Monday curfew.
Florida's secondary would be starting from scratch next season with four new starters.
Woodford had ties to several Florida assistants, as he coached at Middle Tennessee and was a quality control assistant with the New Orleans Saints in the final year Zook was their defensive coordinator.
Pat Dooley can be reached by e-mail at dooleyp@gvillesun.com or by calling 374-5053.

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