How coaching searches could shake up Jim McElwain’s first Florida Gators staff

By Adam Silverstein
November 29, 2015

Coaching jobs will be changing hands across the country in the coming days and weeks, but while the Florida Gators have their head coach in place – Jim McElwain not only performed above expectations at 10-2 but is a national coach of the year candidate – that does not mean Florida’s staff is not susceptible to changes.

Here’s who could leave the Gators and how it might impact Florida as it looks to haul in a top recruiting class, continuing momentum built over the course of a tremendous 2015 season.

Geoff Collins, defensive coordinator: Though defensive coaches are far from the rage for head coaching vacancies, what Collins has done with the Gators’ already-talented defense has been recognized nationally. Florida is ranked fifth in the country in total defense and scoring defense, and Collins’s unit has absolutely dominated opponents throughout the season. Nearby Central Florida, where Collins served as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator (2008-09) reportedly has serious interest in the coordinator. Multiple outlets have noted that he could interview in Orlando as early as Sunday.

Randy Shannon, co-coordinator, linebackers coach, recruiting coordinator: Shannon’s name is also being considered for the UCF vacancy. Since going 28-22 as coach of the Miami Hurricanes (2007-10), Shannon has returned to his roots as a defensive assistant. He succeeded at TCU and Arkansas before taking the Florida post, and his South Florida recruiting acumen would be an enormous get for the Knights. Like with Collins, multiple reports have Shannon interviewing in Orlando as soon as Sunday. Should Collins be the one to leave, Shannon would absolutely be a candidate to be the solo defensive coordinator, though the Gators would then have an open staff position to fill.

Kirk Callahan, defensive backs coach: While Callahan, 30, is young and in his highest-profile coaching role, he could continue his back-and-forth between UF and UCF by returning to his alma mater and working under Collins. Callahan is a strong recruiter in the Jacksonville area and could see himself elevated to defensive coordinator under Collins, an opportunity for him to learn and grow under one of the top defensive minds in the sport. He is unlikely to be in line for a similar promotion at Florida, of course.

Mike Summers, offensive line coach: The players love him and Summers has done nothing but great things since joining the Gators, but he’s severely underpaid while working with McElwain for the first time in his career. While Summers does not appear motivated by money, he deserves much more than he’s getting and a raise is most certainly in order at Florida. If he doesn’t get one in Gainesville, perhaps he goes to another program that would be incredibly lucky to have him.

Chris Rumph, defensive line coach: Since departing Clemson (2006-10), Rumph has jumped around. He landed at Alabama for three seasons (2011-13) before moving to Texas (2014) and then Florida this past season. Everything seems to be going great between McElwain and Rumph, and the players certainly love having him on staff, but the coaching changes at South Carolina could provide him with the opportunity to return to his home state, perhaps this time as a defensive coordinator.


  1. KarVer says:

    This looks bad, I hope the gators dont lose coaches like in the past. They should stay and prove there first year wasn’t a fluke. And we need them to live up to there contracts better. The players are expected to last a couple years why not coaches!

    • g8ter27 says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Kirby Smart, Mark Richt, Lane Kiffin and even…gasp Muschamp along and a whole bunch of coordinators whose teams are still in the final 4 race will likely be picked off first.

  2. waldo road says:

    How about raiding FSU and their staff. If they are that good get their guys.

  3. Ron says:

    If Collins leaves, promote Randy Shannon to Lead Co-defensive Coordinator. Bring T-Rob back from Auburn for more Money. Win-Win for Florida. Give Summers more Money. Gotta Keep Rumph!! Offer Rumph more money and Co-defensive Coordinator. If he doesn’t want it, give it to T-Rob.

    Adam: please make sure Coach and Jeremy Foley read this ,OK?? It’s not often I can actually solve these problems!!

  4. G2 says:

    This seems to happen with any success we have. WTH!

  5. 1974Gator says:

    I can see Shannon and Collins leaving for more money and/or responsibilities not Callahan and Summers. Callahan is still learning at a great program and would have nothing to gain. Summers is in the middle of rebuilding a national championship O line and will get the money he deserves. If Collins leaves I think Rumph likes his chances to grow with Mac. Mac has solid contacts throughout the SEC and nationally plus he is well liked. The talent we have and new recruits we are bringing in are great sells as well.

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