UF confirms football coaching moves
Published: Friday, December 20, 2013 at 10:52 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 20, 2013 at 12:37 p.m.
Florida made it official Friday, confirming that New Mexico’s Coleman Hutzler has joined Will Muschamp’s coaching staff. Hutzler replaces special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach Jeff Choate, who leaves after one season to join Chris Petersen at Washington.
“Coleman is a young coach with a very bright future,” Muschamp said. “He has a great work ethic and obviously is very familiar with our special teams schemes. It will be a seamless transition for our players.” Hutzler worked on the UF staff in 2010-11 and is returning to Florida after spending the past two seasons as New Mexico’s special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach (the same job Choate held for the Gators). In one year under Urban Meyer and one under Muschamp at UF, Hutzler assisted with the defense and special teams.
Hutzler has worked with UF defensive coordinator (and former special teams coordinator) D.J. Durkin at Stanford and Florida.
“I’m excited to be returning to Gainesville and be a part of the Gator family again,” Hutzler said. “I enjoyed my time there and have the utmost respect for Coach Muschamp and the administrative team in place at Florida.
“I understand the value placed on special teams under Coach Muschamp, and look forward to getting to work.”
Muschamp did not reveal whether Hutzler also will be coaching the outside linebackers, something he also did at New Mexico.
Under Hutzler, the New Mexico special teams showed tremendous improvement. Last season, New Mexico was 16th in the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 24.0 yards per return.
Sophomore Carlos Wiggins was named the 2013 Mountain West special teams player of the year after leading the nation with 1,303 total kick return yards. He ranked fifth nationally with a 29.6-yard kickoff return average. He was the only player in the nation to return three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2013.
Muschamp also announced the hiring of Drew Hughes as the Gators director of player personnel. He comes to UF from North Carolina State, where he held the same job.
“Drew will be a great asset to our program,” Muschamp said. “He is extremely organized, and based on his experience he has a very good understanding of how we operate and should fit right in.”
Hughes oversaw all aspects of recruiting at North Carolina State.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work for Coach Muschamp and the University of Florida,” Hughes said. “It will be great to get back to the state of Florida and the SEC -- the best conference in the nation. I’m very much looking forward to helping the Florida coaching staff attract student athletes who will be champions both on and off the field.”
Hughes joined the North Carolina State a year ago, after being Central Florida’s director of player personnel. Before that, he spent five seasons in the recruiting office at Alabama, working under Ed Marynowitz, who is now the assistant director of pro scouting for the Philadelphia Eagles.