Florida Gators hire away veteran defensive line coach Chris Rumph from Texas

By Adam Silverstein
February 6, 2015

The Florida Gators on Friday announced that head coach Jim McElwain has hired Chris Rumph away from Texas to replace recently-hired defensive line coach Terrell Williams, who left the program after one month to take a job in the NFL.

Rumph, who coached with both McElwain and Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (separately) at Alabama over three seasons from 2011-13, spent the 2014 campaign as the assistant head coach for defense and defensive line coach at Texas, where he earned $415,600. The Longhorns ranked 11th nationally in team sacks (40) and 39th in tackles for loss (84) with him on the staff.

“Chris and I obviously have some experience working together from our days at Alabama,” said McElwain in a release. “He joins a group of like thinkers on our staff and is someone who will positively affect our players’ lives – both on and off the field.”


Rumph, a linebacker at South Carolina from 1991-94, began his career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in the spring of 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, Rumph, 43, will be able to pick up right where Williams left off on the recruiting trail. He is also hailed as a talented coach, who has helped Clemson, Alabama and Texas

While with the Crimson Tide, Rumph recruited five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson (Glen Saint Mary, FL), a Gators commitment who has yet to send in his National Letter of Intent to Florida.

With Rumph now in the fold, the Gators have eight of their nine assistant coaches hired, only needing to fill the wide receivers coach role on McElwain’s initial coaching staff. OnlyGators.com has been told on numerous occasions by sources close to the program that Florida has cast a wide net for the job and interviewed former program assistants and players as well as assistants working elsewhere in the college and NFL ranks. OnlyGators.com also learned over the last two weeks that there have been some hiccups to the process with at least one expected hire removed from the process for an undisclosed reason.

13 Comments

  1. Dave Massey says:

    Coach Rumph meet Cece Jefferson. Cece Jefferson meet Coach Rumph. Hope the hit it off.

  2. Mike The Red says:

    Good hire. Go Gators!

    You have to respect a DL coach that has a couple of National Championships to his name and still wants to coach DL. This is the type of coach we need.

  3. KB says:

    I thought this guy was rumored originally as “The target” by Mac for the D-Line coaching position. I presume Mac engaged him before hiring Williams. To pull him away from Texas is impressive but I am curious on what sweetener Mac added to lure him and get the committal now as opposed to at the beginning. Not to feed the conspiracy theorist but could this have been something in the works for quite some time? Maybe Rumph was always coming and out of respect to Charlie & UT he did not want to make a move and disrupt their class till after signing day. To many moving parts across the board to consider such a thing no doubt. It may just be divine intervention that the Miami Dolphins D-Line coach took a DC job with the NYJ and started these chain of events. Not that my opinion matters but this is a DAMN GOOD hire and in all estimations probably a better fit than Williams.

  4. Ron says:

    Mike, you are very correct! Truth be told, Lawing should have been retained. If Coach Mac didn’t really know him, I do get why he wasn’t. Lawing was NOT a great recruiter, but DL prospects seemed to like and respect him. Duane Dixon was a terrible recruiter for Spurrier, his value was as a coach. As a remember, he was a great one.

    I expect Shotsie (OC) at Georgia to be gone in 2 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if Muschamp took the Falcons DC as well.

  5. uf_84 says:

    Welcome to Gator country coach rumph. Sure hope this ends the continuous coaching carousel for a little while and hope this will finally bring CeCe in. The drama train needs to stay parked in the station.

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