Florida hires tight end coach


Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 12:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 12:16 p.m.

Florida coach Urban Meyer has a track record for hiring assistants that he knows and feels comfortable with. That trend continued Wednesday when Meyer named Brian White the Gators' new tight ends coach.

"Brian is a longtime friend and will be a great addition to our coaching staff," Meyer said. "He will play a key role in our offensive game plan and our special teams' preparation. He is a relentless recruiter and has an understanding of our program's philosophy. He is very cerebral and will make a smooth transition into our program."

White, 44, spent this past season as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Washington. Before that, he spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Syracuse (2006-07) and 11 seasons as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Wisconsin. He is a 23-year coaching veteran and a former winner of the American Football Coaches Association Division I assistant coach of the year award.

"I've known Coach Meyer for many years and I've always hoped some day we would have a chance to work together," White said. "It is a tremendous honor and privilege to join the Gator coaching staff and be a part of a special university and athletic department. I look forward to working with a great group of student-athletes."

During White's 11-year tenure at Wisconsin, he coached 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne and Michael Bennett, a first-round NFL draft pick.

In his first year as offensive coordinator for the Badgers, Wisconsin set a school record and finished 10th nationally in scoring.

White also has had coaching stints at UNLV, where he was the passing game coordinator in 1994, Nevada, Fordham (graduate assistant) and Notre Dame (graduate assistant).

He earned his B.A. in history from Harvard in 1986, where he was a two-year starting quarterback. He later earned a master's degree in communication from Fordham in 1987 and an M.B.A. from Notre Dame in 1990.

The hiring of White completes Meyer's 2009 coaching staff. White replaces John Hevesy, who departed after the BCS Championship Game to join former UF offensive coordinator Dan Mullen at Mississippi State, where he was named the new head coach in December.

A year ago, White was mentioned as a serious candidate to become Meyer's new running backs coach, but Meyer filled that opening with Vanderbilt running backs coach Kenny Carter.

One assistant who apparently was not a leading candidate for the tight ends job was South Florida offensive coordinator Greg Gregory, who was demoted by USF coach Jim Leavitt after he expressed interest to Leavitt about the job opening at UF.

Note: UF offensive tackle Jason Watkins is the lone Gator playing in this weekend's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

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