Muschamp says Pease is 'right fit' as coordinator
Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 9:26 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 5:50 p.m.
Back in December, when Will Muschamp went in search of a new offensive coordinator, it wasn't about the scheme or the stats or the name or the reputation.
It was about the fit.
Who would be the perfect fit for Florida?
Muschamp is convinced he's found that guy in Brent Pease, who was officially announced as the Gators' new offensive coordinator Wednesday.
“Any time you're in a head coach's role or athletic director's role, you've got your list (of candidates),” Muschamp said. “Brent certainly was a guy at the forefront from the beginning for me. Whether it was on the phone or in person, I talked to a lot of people.
“At the end of the day, you find the best fit for your football program, your organization, and Brent was for us.”
Pease comes to UF from Boise State, where he was the offensive coordinator this past season and where he coached the Broncos' wide receivers and was the assistant head coach the five previous seasons.
He has 11 years of play-calling experience, having been the offensive coordinator at Baylor, Kentucky, Northern Arizona and Montana. The Broncos averaged 44.2 points and 481.3 yards last season and won 12 games under Pease.
“I'm excited to join the University of Florida football family and The Gator Nation,” Pease said in a UF release. “I've always had the utmost respect for Coach Muschamp and the UF program and I'm honored to have the opportunity to work at one of the premier institutions in the nation.
“I look forward to working with a tremendous coaching staff and, from what I hear, a great group of eager, young football players. Coach Muschamp and I share a lot of the same philosophies so this was a perfect fit.
“I want to be multiple in our offensive formations and have a balanced attack with tempo. I firmly believe in being fundamentally sound and red-zone efficient. I want to develop our players in a pro-style offense that can help them at the next level. ”
Pease agreed to a three-year deal worth more than $500,000 per year, a source said Tuesday.
Pease, 47, seems to have everything Muschamp was looking for in an offensive coordinator. He runs a pro-style offense, he played in the NFL, he's got a ton of play-calling experience and he's coached in the SEC.
He also apparently has a personality that fits at Florida.
“He met with our staff. Our staff signed off, said this guy fits in our room,” Muschamp said. “This guy is a staff guy, a very positive member of the staff as you move forward.
“I don't hire yes guys. I hire guys that give their opinion. He's going to do that and certainly do a great job with our offense. He's a guy who's going to fit, he's a guy you want on your staff.
“Personally, I feel like I've known him for a long time having recruited against him, recruited with him and seen him a lot. He's a guy in our profession who is very well respected.”
Muschamp interviewed Pease for the job in Jacksonville two weeks ago when the Gators were preparing for the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville University. Pease attended one UF practice.
Pease and his wife, Paula, met with Muschamp and others on the UF staff this past weekend in Gainesville. On Tuesday, an agreement was reached, Muschamp said.
“You run across people you have great respect for, you think do a good job, you prepare against an offense and you say this guy is doing a really nice job here in what they do and how they do it week to week,” Muschamp said. “You study people.
“It's got to be a total package as far as being a coach at Florida. You have to be a good person. You've got to be a good man, good family man. He's got two great kids. Great husband. Has been a great football coach.
“All those things fit here. They fit for us.”
With a new offensive coordinator coming on board, Muschamp said there will be some slight adjustments for the players, but not many. The pro-style offensive philosophies will basically be the same as it was last season under Charlie Weis.
Muschamp said he likes the fact Pease has a reputation for being an aggressive play caller.
“No question, we want to be aggressive in all phases as we move forward with this thing,” Muschamp said. “He's very unconventional in the way he does things offensively sometimes, which is good because it keeps the defense off balance. Lot of motion, temp shifts, but he wants to instill what he does with what we already do.
“I already told Brent … he understands this. We're going to take our scheme and what we do and tweak what we do with our players.
“We're not taking a whole new playbook and throwing it at our players. One guy (Pease) is going to learn rather than 40.”
Muschamp said the UF coaches texted the Florida players Tuesday night to let them know Pease was their new offensive coordinator. Muschamp also informed several offensive prospects the Gators are recruiting.
“I think they'll be excited and have trust in me and what we're doing as far as going forward,” Muschamp said.
Muschamp said one Gator who is fine with the hire is running backs coach Brian White, the interim coordinator for the bowl game, who was under consideration for the full-time job.
“Total professional,” Muschamp said of White. “The guy is a heck of a football coach. There are a lot of people I talked to, starting with Brian White, who were very qualified for this position.”
Another in that category was Jacksonville University coach Kerwin Bell, the popular former Gator quarterback.
Muschamp was asked if he felt pressured to possibly hire Bell.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “Kerwin is an outstanding football coach. He's done an outstanding job in Jacksonville. We had a great meeting. He's a Gator. He's a guy I've got a lot of respect for in this profession. Certainly, he is qualified for this job.”
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.