UF hoops strength coach leaving for Spurs


Florida men’s basketball strength and conditioning coordinator Matt Herring is leaving to take a similar job with the San Antonio Spurs.

Herring joined the Florida staff in 2004, shortly before UF’s back-t0-back national titles in 2006 and 2007. He was largely responsible for the strength gains that Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Chandler Parsons made throughout their college careers.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Herring, who was born in Austin, Texas and was a teacher in Schertz, Texas — a San Antonio suburb — from 1994-99.

“I’m very happy for Matt and his family,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said in a statement. “This is an opportunity with a great organization and a chance to be closer to his family.

“Matt has contributed a large part to our success here, and we appreciate what he’s invested in our program and our players over the last seven years.”

Florida will begin an immediate search for Herring’s successor.

In other news:

– Former Florida Gators forward Allan Chaney was denied medical clearance to play at Virginia Tech due to a heart-related issue. Chaney played one season at UF before transferring to Virginia Tech following the 2008-09 season.

– 2012 power forward prospect Brice Johnson (6-9, 210 pounds, Cordova, S.C.) is reportedly planning an unofficial visit to Florida this month. Johnson, the 26th ranked player in ESPNU’s top 100, also is considering Georgia Tech, Clemson, South Carolina and North Carolina.

— Bad news for former UF assistant and current UCF head coach Donnie Jones. UCF is likely to receive a letter of inquiry from the NCAA regarding potential recruiting violations due to its involvement with AAU basketball coach Kenneth Caldwell.