Todd Golden: Florida basketball to hire Taurean Green as director of player development

Graham Hall
Gator Sports

Todd Golden’s coaching staff may be complete for now, but the 36-year-old head coach already has in mind a future addition who should be a familiar name for Florida fans. 

Gators basketball intends to hire former UF point guard Taurean Green as the program’s director of player development, Golden said Friday on Jeff Goodman’s Field of 68 podcast. Green, who retired as a player in October of last year after 14 seasons at the professional level, is in his first season with the Chicago Bulls as a player-development coordinator on former Florida coach Billy Donovan’s staff. 

"We're going to bring in Taurean Green to be our director of player development, which I'm really, really excited about," Golden said. "We're going to bring him after the season's over, I hope they go win the (NBA) title. We haven't announced him yet, but he was super. Billy was super on board with it and he thought it was a great idea to bring back somebody that really understood what made Florida great."

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Taurean Green was key player on national championship teams

During his three seasons with the Gators, Green was a critical component in UF’s consecutive national championships in 2006 and 2007, and he’d finish his tenure with 1,174 points and 515 assists. 

Earlier in the interview, Golden said he’s spoken with Donovan several times already, including a 30-minute phone call the day after he accepted the job.

“I just told him, I said ‘man, listen, I want to learn from you,’ like, tell me what made you successful there,” Golden said, “And he said ‘Todd, I’ll help you as much as you want or as little as you want, I’m here as a resource for you’.” 

Florida's Taurean Green (11) moves around the defense of Jackson State's Catraiva Givens (3) during the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional basketball tournament in New Orleans, in March 2007.

In hiring Green, Golden clearly isn’t running from Florida’s legacy. Since accepting the UF job offer, Golden has frequently mentioned Donovan’s presence and the work he did in building Florida into a consistent contender, both in the SEC and in the NCAA Tournament. Getting Green to return is just the first step — next comes recruiting players with identical personalities to “The 04s.” 

“We’re trying to find the Al Horfords. The guys who are great kids, super smart, and passionate about being here,” Golden said, “and I don’t think we have to take anything less than that.”

Duke Werner staying; Preston Greene is not

Aside from Green, Golden’s coaching staff will feature Carlin Hartman, Kevin Hovde and Korey McCray as associate head coaches, while Jonathan Safir has joined the program in an off-court role as director of basketball strategy and analytics. Hovde was previously an associate head coach under Golden while at San Francisco, while Safir spent three seasons with the Dons prior to arriving in Gainesville. 

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The numbers guy: UF men's basketball announces hiring of Jonathan Safir as director of strategy, analytics

Assistant added:UF men's basketball hires Kevin Hovde as assistant coach

Of the previous regime, Golden's staff will retain UF assistant athletic director Dave "Duke" Werner. The program has parted ways with Preston Greene, the director of strength and conditioning, The Gainesville Sun has learned.

Golden is in the process of hiring Victor Lopez as UF's strength and conditioning coordinator, according to a source, a hiring that is expected to be finalized within the next several days. 

Lopez spent the 2021-22 season at San Francisco under Golden as the team's senior associate strength and conditioning coach.