UF makes Austin hire official

“I've watched from afar what this program is about – winning championships with dynamic players and doing things the right way," Teryl Austin said. "Now, I'm honored to be a part of the program and a part of The Gator Nation."

The Associated Press
Published: Friday, February 12, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.

Teryl Austin officially became Florida's new defensive coordinator early Friday afternoon with a UF release announcing his hiring.


At a glance

1991-92 Penn State Graduate Assistant
1993-95 Wake Forest Defensive Backs
1996-98 Syracuse Defensive Backs
1999-2002 Michigan Defensive Backs
2003-06 Seattle Seahawks Defensive Backs
2007-09 Arizona Cardinals Defensive Backs

The Sun confirmed Thursday night that Austin, the Arizona Cardinals' secondary coach the past three years, had accepted the position after interviewing for the job Wednesday in Gainesville.

Austin replaces George Edwards, the former Miami Dolphins' linebackers coach who left UF after less than a month on the job to become the Buffalo Bills' defensive coordinator.

Austin will be UF's defensive coordinator, although Chuck Heater will retain the title of co-defensive coordinator he was given with the hiring of Edwards on Jan. 8.

Austin has a substantial connection with two members on the Florida staff — interim head coach Steve Addazio and quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler. Austin and Addazio worked on the same Syracuse staff in 1996-98, while Austin and Loeffler were on the same Michigan staff in 2002.

"I am pleased to have Teryl join our staff," UF coach Urban Meyer said in the release. "Coach Addazio did a great job coordinating our efforts with Chuck Heater and Dan McCarney to hire Teryl. It was important that we had some familiarity with Teryl as both Coach Addazio and Coach Loeffler had worked with him before.

"He also comes highly recommended from my close friend Bill Davis, the defensive coordinator of the Cardinals. It was also important that we hire a coach who is a great teacher, a great mentor and has the ability to be a great recruiter. Coach Austin has all those qualities and beyond that he's a good family man."

Austin just completed his seventh season coaching in the NFL. Before his three-year stint with the Cardinals, Austin was the secondary coach for the Seattle Seahawks for four seasons. He coached in two Super Bowls. He also has 12 years of collegiate coaching experience, at Penn State, Wake Forest, Syracuse and Michigan.

"I'm excited to join the Gator coaching staff," Austin, 44, said. "I've watched from afar what this program is about — winning championships with dynamic players and doing things the right way.

"Now, I'm honored to be a part of the program and a part of the Gator Nation. I look forward to getting to work with an outstanding group of players and a great coaching staff."

While he was a college assistant coach, Austin earned the reputation of being an excellent recruiter. As a secondary coach in the NFL, he was known for developing players.

In 2008, Arizona rookie and first-round pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie led the Cardinals with four interceptions in the regular season. He had two more picks in the playoffs.

The year before, Austin's secondary helped the Cardinals lead the NFL in interception returns for touchdowns (six).

During his tenure in Seattle, Austin developed a strong secondary made up of young draft picks that included Marcus Trufant, Ken Hamlin, Michael Boulware and Kelly Jennings.

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