Some tidbits on UF's new DC

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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.

25 COMMENTS

  1. hmm just to make sure i’m going to wait 3 weeks to celebrate robbie! i thought the edwards thing was very low and unprofessional!
    kinda reminded me of nukeese come to think about it. although at least edwards made it to the campus. anyway im waiting to make sure he’s actually going to stay before i celebrate 🙂

  2. Lets be honest. All is not well in Gator land. This guy was at least the 7th or 8th guy Urban brought in and finally got to accept. Since when did UF become a place for a guy to get his rookie coordinating experience? Since when did guys like Tyrone Nix turn down UF to stay at a school with about half of the football budget and facilities UF has? This guy may be a great coach but he was hired because he was the minority coach willing to take the job and share power with Heater. Check out the facts.

  3. Chris, you may be right, but at this point the Gator Nation is just excited to have a DC. Besides, chemistry does play a large part in a good coaching staff, and many of the coaches on both sides of the ball appear to have chemistry with one another and with Urban Meyer’s philosophy. None of us are claiming that this new DC will be better than Charlie Strong or that we got the best DC in the nation.

  4. The fact is chris, you are a typical Gator pretender. You think you know better than the insiders. Your autobiography was written long ago, it’s titled, “Chicken Little”. We’re in the Golden Age of Gator Football and it’s great to be…yesterday, today and tomorrow…

  5. Kind of agree with Chris; time will tell and I wonder how much truth there is with the minority hiring aspect. But with a majority of the kids being recruited minority, it certainly makes sense. Wonder if Chuck Heater feels “it sucks to be white”.

  6. We have a linebackers coach: http://gatorzone.com/football/staff/durkin

    Chuck Heater has been coaching for over 30 years and had a shot at being a DC almost 20 years ago (and it apparently didn’t work out). He is a great position coach. He stated that he wanted to take on more responsibility and that he was interested in the job, but that HE was interested in bringing someone in to be co-DC. I refer you to this article:

    http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20091228/ARTICLES/912299994?p=2&tc=pg

    The race thing is a non issue. I am glad that we have a diverse staff and I think that it speaks well of UF that we do. It is good for team chemistry, and good for relating to the families of our players and recruits (who are mostly black).

    Austin has excellent experience. He continued on a course of upward mobility throughout his career and there is no reason to believe that he will not continue to excel. The fact that he was willing to be a team player and share DC responsibility with Heater is a good sign. Heater has years of wisdom and experience and really knows the college game and , now, the SEC. Austin brings in fresh ideas and NFL experience. It will be a good combination.

  7. You can disagree all you want with the race thing but the fact of the matter is that the only candidates interviewed or even publically discussed were minorities. Several of them had never been corordinators at any level, like Austin. I have no problem with saying we need another minority coach on the staff. I am not ignorant of the fact that 3 left and 1 came in. However realign your staff, don’t force fit a guy who is not qualified to be your D-Coordinator just becuase he is black. By the way, a lot of minority coaches aren’t happy about how this played out in the press. It was obvious what Urban was doing and hiring like this only serves to diminish the great jobs many minority coaches do. I think we can all agree if he had hired a white guy as the D-Coordinator who had never been a coordinator at any level there would be a lot of people asking a lot of questions. The notion that you have to be black to recruit great athletes, black or white, is simply ridiculous. It sure seems like a lot of defensive talent had no problem signing up to play for a 68 year old white guy named Monte Kiffin. A lot of people have funneled through that staff in the last 24 months. Several of them left for lateral moves. Where do you move in college football laterally that is a better job than UF? We are all Gators but you better start to ask yourself what is up? All is not as rosy as it appears.

  8. I’d say all is not as dismal as you try and make it appear Chris. Maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events or you are just a young pup, but Florida has won 2 NCs in the last 5 years with Meyer at the helm and finished #3 this year. Things look pretty damn rosy for the future with the talent stockpiled in Gator Nation from where I sit. I’m old enough to remember the days when finishing second in the SEC was a MAJOR accomplishment and a cause for celebration.
    How about spinning your “The sky is falling” Chicken Little act over in Tallahassee or down in Miami, we don’t need it here. Thanks for playing.

  9. Three things that we know are that the coach had to be a minority (UAA rules, need at least 2 on staff), the coach had to have the same type of attacking discipline on defense and the coach had to be OK with Co-DC status with Heater. If you think about why Meyer went the NFL route it is due to minority coaches not having as many issues getting decent jobs. I know there is some worry about getting a guy with no DC experience but the NFL experience, the recruiting ability and the obvious coaching ability (as a position coach) are good qualities in becoming a DC.

    If you think about Nix and Withers (DC at NC) they aren’t as blitz attacking of DCs as Strong was.

    In regards to coaches moving (Carter) for lateral positions that is different than a guy leaving to a whole new coaching staff. He joined Strong’s staff. Bedford was promoted to DC at UL and Gonzales was given more responsibilities at LSU.

    I think Meyer has done an excellent job replacing staff members. Durkin, the guy from Stanford, was and LB coach there. He can coach the LBs here.

    Time will tell on the DC hire but the doom and gloom by Chris makes you seem more troll like than actually looking at what has transpired.

  10. Fair enough Travis. I respect your opinion and my concern is over the events of the last 6 weeks and they seem certainly out of character for a program that has so much going for it as you pointed out. All I would ask you is to help me understand the recent events, since you are so much older and wiser according to your own account. Your sarcasm aside, just give me your perspective of this hire and lateral moves by asst. coaches and our head coach engaging in what was certainly perceived nation wide as strange behavior. Just a young pup seeking wisdom from a guy who seems willing to share it.

  11. Sorry for the length of this post. First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Coach Austin has impressive qualifications for any color – years of FBS experience and success at the highest levels of the NFL. It is a plus that Coach Addazio and Coach Loeffler have worked with him and he comes highly recommended from his current boss. Second, UF AD and Coach Meyer are aware of the dismal hiring of black coaches by the FBS. According to the Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA) Hiring Report Card covering 2007-08, since 1996, only 12 African-American coaches have been hired out of 195 vacancies. With the loss of Coach Strong it seems entirely reasonable for Coach Meyer to proactively seek a diverse candidate that can contribute to his staff. Just a quick glance at the UF Football website currently shows 7 of the 8 assistant coaches are white. I’m not sure that means anything. I am equally unsure if the addition of one more coach – who happens to be black – means anything either. Special comment for Chris – Not sure how you can channel the thoughts of black coaches to suggest they are unhappy about this process; further, your comments about forcing fitting a guy who is unqualified lacks merit and only undermines your argument. Third and finally, if you want to talk about hires who lack merit, look no further than Dooley at Tennessee or Chizik at Auburn. Both men brought underwhelming resumes to the table. If I remember correctly, several high profile black coaches were available but they didn’t get the opportunity to even interview. As a proud graduate of UF from the class of ’92 I am encouraged by the UF hire and can’t wait for the start of football season. For Chris – stop griping. For everyone else – Go Gators!

    James

  12. If you are looking for warts, you’ll find them. Personally, I would rather rely on there experience of the man in charge. I trust Urban and his decisions – whatever they are. He has every right to change his mind just like we all do on occasions after reflection. Quit being a ‘day trader’ and trying to psychoanalze the program but rather enjoy what has happened to our program since 1990 and SOS arrived through today. As for me, I’m enjoying the ride and look for it to continue for as long as Urban is at the helm. Go Gators!

  13. The first sentence of the first paragraph of Mr. Andreu’s blog is all I need to read to be happy about this hire, “…earned a reputation for being one of the best recruiters in the nation.” Throw in the fact that Edwards was not excited about recruiting and I am happy to have Austin and I bid a not so fond farewell to Mr. Edwards.

  14. A little bit of fussing here. I say give the guy a chance and all of our support. Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier, Lou Holtz, Les Miles……were all rookie head coaches at one time, as well as rookie coordinators. I believe in Coach Meyer’s choices of coaches; look at how many have gone on to be head coaches. I think he can see leadership in athletes and teachers.

  15. Hello Chris, anyone home? The average defensive coordinator in the NFL makes about $800,000 per year. Charlie Strong made $310,000 at Florida. If you are Edwards, which job do you take? Teryl Austin is a heck of a coach and a great guy. Will he relate well to many of our players?…..I sure hope so. Will he recruit well where we need to go recruit?…..my guess is he will. I’m not too worried about Urban and Steve making the right coaching hires. I’m more worried about who has to sit next to you at home games. Peace out baby. Go Gators, beat Everybody!

  16. Props to the Gator Nation for their comeback. Some great points made. Probably the most intelligent thing said on here is that “time will tell”. I will eat humble pie on this subject until the results are in. Clearly not the normal career path to be a DC at a school like UF but as somebody correctly pointed out, the guy making the decision has 2 NC’s so he has earned the right to be trusted. Let’s talk on this subject again a year from now.

  17. Many college coordinators these days are making $500K or more. Monte Kiffen made $1.2M at UT (I know, a special case. Still tough for Strong to see a guy making four times as much at the same job).

    I know the UAA likes to give money back to the school, but with the extra funds from the new TV contracts, a couple mil needs to be funnelled into salaries for assistants. Meyer can’t do it alone. He needs quality staff as well. I know we have quality guys now, but we need to KEEP quality guys and be less of a revolving door. I’m all for guys taking a step up, but not pleased with guys bailing for higher paying jobs. Hasn’t happened yet, but it will.

  18. I’m glad Teryl’s on board. He’s only going to help us. Sounds like the Gators just “shopped up”. He’s an All American coach for All American players. Watch him takes this defense to the next level. A year or two from now any objective observer will say the same thing. Thanks for the update RA.