Muschamp fires Pease, Davis
Published: Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 1:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 6:11 p.m.
It did not take Florida coach Will Muschamp long to move in a different direction with the Gators’ offense.
Less than 24 hours after UF’s 37-7 loss to arch-rival Florida State, Muschamp fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis during a Sunday morning meeting, Muschamp confirmed in a UF news release.
“I have a lot of respect for coach Pease and coach Davis,” Muschamp said. “They are both good football coaches and even better people. There have been a lot of unfortunate circumstances this year, but that is part of the game sometimes. I want to thank each of them for their contributions to the program both on and off the field.”
In his second year coordinating the Florida offense, Pease was hamstrung by numerous injuries, including losing starting quarterback Jeff Driskel, starting tailback Matt Jones and starting tackles Chaz Green and Tyler Moore to season-ending injuries.
Over the past three games, the Gators started third-team quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg due to a shoulder injury to Tyler Murphy, who took over when Driskel went down with a broken lower leg in the Tennessee game.
Over the past four games, Davis was without his top three offensive tackles — Green, Moore and D.J. Humphries.
The 4-8 Gators finished the season last in the SEC in points and total yards per game. The firing of Pease, 49, seemed almost inevitable after the Gators lost to Georgia Southern two weeks ago and Muschamp said the ineffective play of the offense had infected the entire team.
Pease said last week that he felt he’d be returning in 2014, and that he deserved that opportunity. But that hasn’t happened.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to come to the University of Florida and work with a bunch of great coaches, administrative staff and players,” Pease said in a statement released by UF. “I know we came up short of our ultimate goal, but I will carry on knowing I gained valuable friendships and relationships during my time here.”
Davis also was in his second season in Gainesville and had previously worked with Muschamp in the NFL.
Muschamp is now in the market for a new offensive coordinator, which will be his third in four seasons.
In Muschamp’s three seasons, the offense has been one of the least productive in the SEC and the nation, ranking below the top 100 nationally every season. The Gators finished this season ranked 112th in the nation in total offense.
A source close to the UF situation said no more staff changes are expected.
UF will owe Pease about $1.2 million for the remaining two years on his contract. Davis’ one-year contract, with a salary of $275,000, expired at the end of the 2013 season.
Pease came to UF in 2012 after spending the previous season as the offensive coordinator at Boise State. While he was considering an offer from Muschamp to take the UF job, Nick Saban also tried to hire him at Alabama as the Tide’s offensive coordinator.