Gator notebook: Assistants rewarded with raises after last season
With Florida coming off a second consecutive New Year’s Six bowl win and double-digit win season, head coach Dan Mullen’s assistant coaches were rewarded with raises in February.
The raises totaled $490,000, with linebackers coach Christian Robinson getting the biggest bump, his annual salary going from $115,000 to $290,000, a raise of $175,000.
Quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, who was promoted to offensive coordinator, and defensive line coach David Turner both received $100,000 raises. Johnson will earn $540,000, and Turner $465,000 this year.
Offensive line coach and running game coordinator John Hevesy and wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Billy Gonzales each received $30,000 raises, elevating both their annual salaries to $620,000.
Running backs coach/special teams coordinator Greg Knox is now making $485,000 a year after getting a $45,000 raise, while cornerbacks coach Torrian Gray is at $450,000 annually after receiving a $10,000 bump.
New tight ends coach and assistant head coach Tim Brewster signed a two-year contract in February that pays him $485,00 annually.
Strength and conditioning coordinator Nick Savage also received a raise of $150,000 that bumps his annual salary to $450,000.
Defensive coordinator Todd Granthan, who signed a new contract last year that pays him $1.79 million annually, and safeties coach Ron English did not receive raises. English will be making $440,000 this year.
Depth chart drama
Two prominent defensive players are conspicuous by their absence on the depth chart for Saturday’s game. Starting defensive tackle Kyree Campbell and potential starting safety Brad Stewart aren’t even listed on the chart that was released by UF on Monday.
But UF coach Dan Mullen said not to read too much into that.
“I didn’t even look at that (depth chart),” Mullen said on Wednesday’s SEC coaches teleconference. “You guys and your depth charts, man. I’ll be honest, I don’t even think I looked at it.”
Mullen was asked if Campbell and Stewart would be available for Saturday’s game in Oxford.
“Yeah,” he said.
Love for McPherson
Junior place-kicker Evan McPherson, who has made 34 of his 38 field goal attempts in his UF career, drew high praise from Mullen on Wednesday's call.
“I have unbelievable confidence in him,” Mullen said. “I think he’s the top kicker in college football. He has confidence in himself, in his ability to make kicks from all over the field. I’ve never seen a moment that’s too big for him.
“If he’s hot, he’s still just focused on the next kick. If he struggles, he’s still focused on the next kick. Nothing is too big a moment for him. He never gets two high or two low about what’s going on.”
Not only is McPherson accurate, he has a big leg, Mullen said.
“He’s hit a 67-yarder in practice for us,” he said.
Dexter killing it
No surprise here: true freshman defensive tackle Gervon Dexter, a five-star recruit, has already worked his way into the playing rotation. He’ll see the field Saturday against Ole Miss.
“As we put on the pads (in camp), his physicality showed up, his ability to utilize his skill set, hold the point, play with power,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “As we move through the season you always need guys up front. If you go back and look last year, we really kind of got depleted at certain times last year with injuries and things like that happen.
“Anytime you can play a lot of guys in the front, it's a good thing, and right now he's earned the right to play with his play and his practice and we'll just put him in there and let him roll."
Brewster can sell it
After being around and coached by Tim Brewster throughout preseason camp, tight end Kyle Pitts has a better understanding of why UF’s new tight ends coach has a reputation for being an elite recruiter.
“I just think he’s a great salesman,” Pitts said. “He could sell water to a whale. He knows how to talk. I feel like he has a great way with words, so guys trust him and believe in him. He has a great history of tight ends, so he can use that to his advantage. I feel like that’s why a lot of guys come to wherever he’s coaching.”