SIX BITS: Softball signees; Strong as head coach; Poole, Jr.; Spurrier; big plays; special teams

By Adam Silverstein
November 12, 2009

1 » Following big signings by the Florida Gators baseball, volleyball and women’s basketball teams, softball head coach Tim Walton announced Thursday that two highly coveted high school players have signed national letters of intent to play for the Orange and Blue starting in 2010. Utility player Kasey Fagan (Dunnellon, FL) and shortstop Cheyenne Coyle (West Hills, CA) are both extremely talented women who will bring a lot to the program. For more on their accomplishments, check out this article on GatorZone.

2 » Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong is garnering heavy interest from the Memphis Tigers for their head coaching vacancy, according to reports. OGGOA believes Strong should not take the job if offered, simply because we feel he deserves and can receive the head job at another big-time program rather than a second-tier school (football-wise). Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley shares similar thoughts while Miami Herald beat writer Joseph Goodman thinks Memphis would be a good fit. “I just have to work and continue to do this job right now,” Strong said when asked about the rumors. “My whole focus is making sure our defense goes out and plays well.”

3 » In recruiting news… Four-star small forward Stacey Poole, Jr., the son of former Gators standout Stacy Poole (who ranks as the team’s No. 4 all-time scorer), has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats and head coach John Calipari. Poole is one of the best forwards in the country and the first signee for Kentucky’s 2010 recruiting class.

Three more BITS about Spurrier, big plays and special teams after the jump…

4 » Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune contends that the Gators have moved “far beyond their ‘Ol’ Ballcoach’ era,” beating South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier three times in a row, each with a larger margin of victory.

5 » Researching the team’s apparent offensive struggles, Florida’s coaches did a study this week on big plays and discovered that the Gators are exactly where they were at the same point last season. “It’s a very deceptive deal right now,” offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said. “We define big plays as 20 or more yards. A lot of big plays are happening. We’re right where we were at this time last year. But the feeling is we’re not having as many big plays.” Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun says that is true, “But the home runs, those long, game-changing plays, are missing.”

6 » Emphasizing special teams more than probably any other team in the nation, Florida head coach Urban Meyer has made sure that the only big plays coming from that unit are when the Gators are the ones receiving the ball. “The correlation between that [good special teams] and winning games can’t get any stronger,” Meyer said.

One Comment

  1. Sarasota 'cane says:

    I think the USF job would be a good fit for Charlie if Leavit gets the boot. He could “win it all” at USF with the talent in Florida.

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