Updated Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Less than a month after hiring of defensive line coach Terrell Williams, the Florida Gators have already been forced to replace him. According to Sports Illustrated, Williams has departed for a return to the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, and Florida head coach Jim McELwain has already replaced him with Texas defensive line coach Chris Rumph.
Since that initial report, The Gainesville Sun‘s Robbie Andreu noted that while Rumph has been offered the job with the Gators, he has yet to accept it.
Williams, who waxed poetic about his move to the Gators by citing his wife’s connection to the state and school, said coaching at Florida was “a great opportunity” for him and his family. He also said he would “rather be at Florida than anywhere in America.”
Despite indicating that he had numerous offers while with the Raiders to join other powerhouse college programs, Williams said he turned them all down until the Gators came calling. Apparently, he preferred life in the NFL, and coaching for the Dolphins gives him the opportunity to still coach in the state near his wife’s family.
“Any time you coach football and get a chance to be around players, you start to develop a relationship. I think those guys at Florida, Coach McElwain is going to be a heck of a coach for the Florida Gators,” he said on Friday. “At the end of the day, it was just a decision that we felt was best for us as a family and that’s why we ended up leaving Florida and coming down here to Miami.”
Rumph, who coached with both McElwain and Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier at Alabama from 2011-13, spent the 2014 season as the assistant head coach for defense and defensive line coach at Texas.
He began his career as a graduate assistant at South Carolina (1997) and then took over as head coach at Calhoun County High School from 1997-2001. From there, he became the defensive backs coach at South Carolina State (2002), outside linebackers coach at Memphis (2003-05), and defensive line coach at Clemson (2006-10).
Noted as a strong recruiter and talented coach, Rumph should be able to pick up right where Williams left off if he ends up being hired by the Gators.
According to ESPN.com recruiting analyst Derek Tyson, Williams’s departure from Florida is not the hold up in the Gators receiving a National Letter of Intent from five-star defensive end commitment CeCe Jefferson.