Report: Smart leaning toward staying at Bama

Former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles, left, poses with Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart after Smart was named recipient of the 2009 Broyles Asard in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009. The award goes to the nation's top assistant NCAA college football coach. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Published: Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 13, 2010 at 11:35 p.m.

A chance for a significant Bulldog reunion in the heart of Gator country may have hit a snag.

New Florida football coach Will Muschamp, a former defensive back at Georgia, has offered the Gators' defensive coordinator's position to close friend and former college teammate — Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.

According to the Tuscaloosa News, Smart has been offered the job but is leaning toward staying at Alabama.

Muschamp will be formally introduced as UF's new head coach at a 6:30 p.m. news conference today. At that time, Muschamp could reveal some members of his coaching staff, which he has been working to put together since accepting the job Saturday.

Smart turned down an offer a year ago to become the defensive coordinator at his alma mater (Georgia). He elected to stay at Alabama and was given a significant raise.

Smart was on the road Monday recruiting for Alabama. He visited defensive lineman Caleb Gulledge, a 2012 Alabama commitment, at Prattville High School. Gulledge told the Tuscaloosa News that Smart didn't mention Florida, and the prospect didn't ask the coach about it.

"We were just talking about Bama," Gulledge said. "He acted like he's still stuck on Alabama."

Prattville coach Jamey Dubose echoed those sentiments.

"We didn't discuss Florida or any other things," Dubose told The News. "I felt like if it was something he wanted to talk about, he'd bring it up. He was going about his business doing his normal stuff. He was recruiting for Alabama."

Smart might not be the only member of Saban's Alabama staff Muschamp is targeting. There are reports he also is showing interest in Tide defensive line coach Bo Davis.

Still unknown is who might be Muschamp's offensive coordinator, though one candidate appears to be off the list.

Two days after a source close to UF confirmed that Texas running backs coach Major Applewhite would leave with Will Muschamp to become Florida's offensive coordinator, The Sun has learned that it appears Applewhite won't be making that move.

A source with knowledge of the situation told The Sun on Monday night that Applewhite won't be Florida's offensive coordinator. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Applewhite is a candidate to become the Longhorns' offensive coordinator or take over play-calling duties with the resignation of offensive coordinator Greg Davis.

The source said Florida players and members of Florida's staff were informed shortly after Muschamp's hire Saturday that Applewhite was going to become the Gators' next offensive coordinator.

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or Correspondent Edward Aschoff contributed to this report.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top