Now that Teryl Austin’s hiring is official, I thought I’d offer up a few facts about Florida’s next defensive coordinator:
* While Austin was coaching at Michigan (1999-2002), he earned a reputation for being one of the best recruiters in the nation. The former Pittsburgh player lured several big-time prospects to Ann Arbor from the east. His recruiting prowess probably makes him a polar opposite from the guy he’s replacing, former Miami Dolphins’ linebackers coach George Edwards, who left after less than a month to become the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator. After spending so many years in the NFL, Edwards, by all accounts, did not seem all that enthused about grinding it out on the recruiting trail. The fact Austin will embrace recruiting automatically makes him a better fit on a UF coaching staff filled with energetic (and successful) recruiters.
* Two assistants on the Florida staff — interim head coach Steve Addazio and quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler — know Austin and what he’ll bring to the table, having worked with him in the past. Austin and Addazio were on the same Syracuse staff for three years (1996-98), while Loeffler and Austin worked together at Michigan (1999 and 2002). So, this should be a pretty easy transition for both sides — Austin and the UF staff.
* The Gator family will grow considerably with the addition of Austin. He and wife April have five children — three sons and two daughters. That’s another thing Urban Meyer likes about Austin. He’s a good family man.
* Kent Somers, the Arizona Cardinals’ beat writer for the Arizona Republic, told me Thursday night that Austin is a really nice guy and easy to get along with. He said he’ll be well-liked in Gainesville. Sounds good all the way around.