Florida confirms Edwards hire

Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 12:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 12:08 p.m.

George Edwards was added to the Florida football staff as an assistant coach, head coach Urban Meyer announced Friday morning. Edwards will serve as Defensive Coordinator and work specifically with the inside linebackers. Chuck Heater will serve as co-defensive coordinator.


George Edwards timeline

1991 Florida (Graduate Assistant)
1992-95 Appalachian State (Linebackers Coach)
1996 Duke (Linebackers Coach)
1997 Georgia (Defensive Line Coach)
1998-2001 Dallas Cowboys (Linebackers Coach)
2002 Washington Redskins (Linebackers Coach)
2003 Washington Redskins (Defensive Coordinator)
2004 Cleveland Browns (Linebackers Coach)
2005-07 Miami Dolphins (Linebackers Coach)
2008-09 Miami Dolphins (Inside Linebackers Coach)

“George is a tremendous teacher of the game of football,” Meyer said. “He has proven himself at the highest level in the National Football League, but his roots started at the college level at Florida and in the SEC. He is a great addition to our staff and will be a great coach and mentor to our players."

Edwards has 19 years of coaching experience, including the past 12 in the NFL. Most recently, Edwards completed his fifth season working with linebackers for the Miami Dolphins, the past two focusing solely on inside linebackers.

“I'm thrilled to be joining the UF coaching staff,” Edwards said. “I started my career at the college level at Florida and I enjoy teaching and molding young men. I am looking forward to working with a great group of people at Florida and a great group of players.”

Edwards held various collegiate positions from 1991-97, including stints at Florida, Appalachian State, Duke and Georgia. During that time, Edwards tutored the Georgia defensive line that featured Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud in 1997. Both went on to become first-round selections in the 2001 NFL Draft.

“Coach Edwards is one of the best assistants in the NFL,” said former Gator and current Miami Dolphin Channing Crowder. “He has had a huge impact on me and I looked up to him like a father.”

Edwards began his NFL coaching career with a four-season stint with the Dallas Cowboys (1998-2001), where he tutored the team's linebackers. Under Edwards' guidance, Dexter Coakley, a third-round draft choice in 1997, was selected to the Pro Bowl twice over this four-year span (1999, 2001), as he was Dallas' second-leading tackler all four years.

In 2002, Edwards served as the Washington Redskins' assistant defensive coordinator/linebackers coach, as LaVar Arrington produced the most productive season of his NFL career with 107 tackles and 11 sacks and earned his second-straight Pro Bowl berth. In addition that year, each of the team's starting linebackers, which also included Jesse Armstead and Jeremiah Trotter, surpassed the 100-tackle plateau.

The following year, Edwards became Washington's defensive coordinator and helped Arrington and cornerback Champ Bailey earn Pro Bowl honors. Edwards then moved on to coach linebackers for the Cleveland Browns during the 2004 season.

In 2005, Edwards' first season tutoring the Dolphins' linebackers, Zach Thomas was selected to the Pro Bowl for the sixth time, as he recorded 166 tackles despite only playing in 14 games. Crowder, a third-round draft choice, made a tremendous impact on the success of the defense as he started 13 games and registered 90 tackles, the highest total by a Dolphins rookie since 1996 (Thomas, 180).

In 2006, Thomas was selected to the AFC Pro Bowl squad once again, and Crowder recorded 104 tackles, the second-consecutive season in which the pair finished 1-2 on the team's tackle chart, respectively. Crowder was second on the club in 2008 with 114 tackles, marking a career best and also the second time that he attained the 100-tackle plateau. In addition, not only did Akin Ayodele add 74 stops, but he also intercepted two passes, the fourth-highest total on the team.

In 2009, the Miami defense rated second in the AFC (fourth in the NFL) in third-down conversion rate, allowing opponents just a 34.8 percent success rate (69-of-198). In addition, the Dolphins paced the NFL by recording a sack every 7.4 opponent pass plays, on average (44 sacks on 325 pass plays).

A native of Siler City, N.C., Edwards is a Duke University alumnus, where he was a four-year letterman and played for former UF head coach Steve Spurrier. He was a two-year special teams' captain and an All-ACC honorable mention selection at linebacker in 1989. Edwards and his wife, Jami, have a son, B.J.

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