Source: Muschamp to hire Applewhite, Akina as Florida’s coordinators

By Adam Silverstein
December 12, 2010

A source close to the Florida Gators football program informed OGGOA early Sunday morning that new head coach Will Muschamp plans on hiring current Texas Longhorns assistant head coaches Major Applewhite and Duane Akina as his respective offensive and defensive coordinators at the University of Florida.

Applewhite, who was also the running backs coach at Texas, has been with the program since 2008. He was previously the offensive coordinator at Alabama (2007) and Rice (2006). A quarterback with the Longhorns from 1998-2001 who set a number of records at the school, he got his first job as a graduate assistant at Texas (2002-04) before moving on to be the QB coach at Syracuse (2005).

Akina has coached for 32 years spending 22 of them coaching defensive backs. He has been with the Longhorns since 1992 and has coached three Thorpe Award winners (six finalists) and 23 secondary players who have made it to the NFL.

It was also learned early Sunday morning that a handful of Florida’s assistants will have the opportunity to retain their positions on the staff.

OGGOA will continue updating this story and attempting to confirm the information in the above report as more information is made available to us.

38 Comments

  1. AnObfuscator says:

    So, Akina was almost fired after 2007, and was demoted instead when Muschamp was brought in. Applewhite ran a horrible offense at ‘bama, and was basically run out of town, took a job downgrade, joining Texas as a running backs coach. For the record, what is the worst offensive position at Texas since Applewhite joined? Running backs.

    Needless to say, I’m not impressed with Akina or Applewhite.

  2. Todd says:

    Mariotti needs to stay. Heater would be good too. Addazio – see ya!

  3. E-Pain says:

    Rumors floating around that Muschamp is going after Kirby Smart as well. Applewhite has to be better than Addazio, so I’m fine to give them a shot.

  4. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Anyone is better than Adazzio.

  5. brlgator says:

    muschamp is D guy and i wouldnt be shocked if he continues to call the defensive plays so i think it was smart to bring along akina rivals called him the second best recruiter in the country…pretty high praise

    applewhite does concern me

    kirby smart woulda been AMAZING but it was a pipe dream i guess

  6. david says:

    Not happy about these coordinator choices. Liuke Muschamp as a choice, but I’m skeptical about these guys.

  7. Joey says:

    SO a head coach with no HC experience, an OC with no or bad OC experience, and a DC with no experience SOUNDS risky……… BUT i am on board with Will and trust Jermey… all i can think about is that kid yelling at Chizic(SP) at his AU interview. i still think OK states OC and kirby as DC would be a DREAM TEAM!!!!!

  8. Aligator says:

    If Kirby Smart leaves and Saban has another off year then Saban will be gone.

  9. Aligator says:

    I am not sure about Applewhite, it will be a rough transition back to a prostyle offense

  10. Jesse C says:

    It didn’t work out so well the last time we hired a DC that was known as a great recruiter (Zook). I was starting to get comfortable with Muschamp until I read about Applewhite. I don’t like it. He has not been successful since he was playing at UT. Better than Addazio? Yes. Of course I would take an actual Baboon over Addazio. I don’t know anything about Akina but what was said here and it doesn’t sound good. Getting Kirby would be awesome but its not gonna happen. Muschamp would be a fool not to keep Mariotti but the rest of them can go. If we drastically change the offense will we lose Driskel? I hope not, the dual-threat QB is the norm these days and needs to be utilized in any offensive scheme. I would give Applewhite a one year contract but that’s it. I wonder if this team of former UT coaches can steal some of UT’s #1 recruiting class while keeping the jewels we have already. NSD will be the first measuring stick for out new coaching staff. Cross your fingers!

  11. Scooterp says:

    I don’t want to lose Driskel either, but to suggest we hire a coach based on whether or not our unsigned quarterback approves is just as stupid as making comparisons to the Zook hire. I want a young, new legacy in the making hire, not a 51 year old re tread whose 5 and done. This fits, although I didn’t see it coming.

  12. AnObfuscator says:

    If you are worried about changing offense, well, Texas does run a passing spread o similar to urban’s… He and Mack have been known to swap ideas a good bit.

    To those who say “anybody but addazio”, I must say… Be careful what you wish for.

  13. With as accomplished a defensive coordinator as Muschamp is, I would not say Akina was “demoted” but rather accepted a different position with the staff. Akina is a fantastic recruiter, a good defensive mind and someone who can be Muschamp’s right-hand man defensively.

    Not sure why Kirby Smart would leave Alabama for Florida unless he was going to get paid more than $750K and given some other big reason. Seems more like a wishful rumor than anything else.

    Joey- The “no experience” thing is going a little too far. Muschamp could have been a head coach for the last few years (read the last story). He decided to wait it out at Texas – one of the top two premier programs in the country. When the other premier program – Florida – came in with an offer, he jumped on it. He’s turned down other major universities and programs already. Also saying someone who has coached for 32 years (Akina) and has an amazing track record has no experience is just wrong.

    AnObfuscator’s last comment was spot-on.

  14. Jesse C says:

    Scooterp – I’m sorry for the Zook comparison, maybe he will be the next Stoops. Gotta stay positive.

    Adam – you made me feel better about Akina but what about Applewhite? His history as an OC or even an assistant coach is not good. What is Muschamp thinking? Looks like a disaster waiting to happen and I’m sure that another website like firesteveaddazio.com will be snatched up quick.

  15. Kurt says:

    Just do not see Mack Brown letting his entire staff go prior to NSD. Already lost his offensive and defensive coordinators and would be surprised if he lets Applewhite and Akina go to UF as well. Is this a good source, as I don’t think it is accurate from what I’m hearing inside program.

  16. brlgator says:

    might be applewhite spreading the rumor to force mack brown to offer texas oc job to him and that d be fine with me. i wouldnt mind taking a little more time to find the right oc.

    on luring smart away from bama… we paid meyer 4 mil muschamp will prob get no more 3mil i am fine throwing a millie at smart

  17. Tim says:

    AdamThank you for stepping in to squash the self feeding negative vibe that hapens so often on this site.

    Scooterp NAILED it with his comment! Who wants some retread, why not find the next stoops, saban, etc;

    As for Addazzio…I would hope he would not be retained as the O.C. but would love to see him stay on as the O-line coach. Despite his play calling, he is a solid coach and a hell of a recruiter. I would hope he has an oportunity to stay on.

  18. Goldeneaglejav says:

    Not too sure of the Applewhite hire, but if he is hired, Driskel should stay committed. From what I am hearing about that guy, he is the second coming of Tebow. And we all know, you can have an idiot calling the plays for Tebow and still win 13 games.

  19. Kurt says:

    Who has not left Saban’s staff for other coaching positions? Kevin Steele, Major Applewhite, ….. Bama has the money to pay any coach more than they would receive at other programs, but very few coaches stay with Saban very long due to the way he treats them. Find one coach who has stayed with Saban from his Michigan State and LSU days. Look how many coaches left him during Bama days. The sports reporters and people in Miami Dolphin organization hate Saban, as a result of his treatment of them. Smart has been with Saban for a long time and think he stays due to his desire to move to a Head Coaching opportunity, despite treatment from Saban. However, most people think the defense is Saban’s and are hesitant to give Smart a HCing position as a result, much like no one would hire a Spurrier Offensive Coordinator as a Head Coach. Smart may have to move to prove he is pulling the strings and not Saban. We have placed many of our Defensive Coordinators in Head Coaching positions or the NFL.

  20. Joey says:

    Adam what i meant by no experience is Applewhite had no OC exper. except one year. Akina has no HEAD DC experience. and although i am excited about the hire of Will he has NEVER been the head coach. it does bring more pressure esp. at UF…

  21. JaxGator says:

    Kerwin Bell as O/C would make this perfect!

  22. GatorsFanLA says:

    I don’t want to sound like a dumb a$$… but, are we keeping the spread offense? switching to a Pro style? combination of both?

  23. g8ter27 says:

    I doubt we get Smart but if we don’t that is ok bc the guy teamed up with Will probably gets our defense top 5 in the nation with the talent we have and will be getting. So while that is a great thing, of course,as with all gator assistants,Smart will be picked off by another team as their HC in matter of a year or two. But, if I had the choice, i would take him anyway.

  24. g8ter27 says:

    And ps, Tim, as much as I think Addazzio is a complete jackass as the OC, I agree with you that if he can be retained as an assistant (TE or maybe O-line) then I would be glad to still have him because he can recruit and he truly loves UF I think which goes a long way in my opinion.

  25. DCgator says:

    I know how fashionable it’s become to scapegoat Addazio. I’m no apologist by any means––his hapless playcalling and out-of-shape offensive line have driven me crazy for the better part of two years. But with that said, why is everyone so certain that Applewhite will be any better? I don’t see a single iota of evidence to that point. Texas’ offense won two fewer games with more offensive talent that Florida had this past season. And they turned it over what, 30 times?? How many of those turnovers were fumbles by Applewhite’s running backs? I don’t understand how this is any better than the existing staff.

  26. Aligator says:

    I have a feeling that Muschamp will keep the better parts of the coaching staff. he aint stupid and things were not that broke, really just addozzio’s play calling and predictability. do not be surprised if he keeps coach a on as the assistant head coach and run game coordinator or co-coordinator with someone else calling the plays from the sky.

    I bet you that most of the coaches stay, with a few exceptions ….

  27. mike maier says:

    This smells of Ron Zook all over again. Energetic, Great Recruiter, lots of emotion on the sidelines. All great attributes, except when it comes to out coaching the other coach and his team. Is there a FireJeremyFoley.com website yet?

    Hopefully this will happen, and Steve Spurrier will come back.

  28. Dennis Warmke says:

    Everything will hinge on our success in bringing in two outstanding coordinators and great postion coaches. Auburn managed to do it in about one year with this recipe, so it all comes down to finding the $$s and convincing the top OCs and DCs in the country to jump on board. Meyer did it, but Zook failed miserably at attracting top coordinators and position coaches. I will judge this hire by the assistants, since ultimately, they matter more than the head guy. Auburn’s head guy was certainly not everyone’s first choice, and he had a very questionable background, but he did hire the best OC in the nation and one of the top 10 DCs as well, and Auburn is now where we wanted to be. The recipe is clear. Will be follow it, or be “creative?”

  29. Escambia94 says:

    It’s getting tough to decipher what is rumor and what is news. I had all but accepted that Major Applewhite is going to Florida, then here I live in Texas I hear that Applewhite may get a better counter offer at Texas as the OC. I will wait until announcements are made at the Tuesday press conference.

    • Escambia- If you read our report above, it states what Muschamp’s plan is according to a source close to the team. Texas, of course, has a huge opportunity to reign in Applewhite.

  30. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    The Zook comparisons are just absurd…Zook had been demoted by SOS as DC and was not really a top coaching candidate….and most felt he was a jerk reaction to missing out on Stoops, Shannahan, etc…and some felt he was just a temp til Foley got his target….who knows but clearly this guy is a hot commodity and I agree I am less concerned with his choice at DC since we should be fine on that side with Muschamp and the talent we have and should continue to pull in…I too would like to see Adozzio kept in some capacity other than OC….the hate for him is really an over reaction…was he in denial all year…of course but what do expect him to say…I am over my head and my play calling sucks!!!!

  31. HardToKillGtr says:

    Wonder what effect this “tough-ass” coach will have on a team that only played tough in a couple of games? Video shows this coach doesn’t mind offending sensibilities during a game. Any players feeling entitled better find a place somewhere else.

  32. npgator says:

    Our young defensive players are going to love playing for Mushcamp!

  33. Tim says:

    mike maier – What the heck are you talking about?

    HardToKillGtr -Love where your mind is going on that one! Couldn’t agree more. Might be time to have someone toughen up these guys. I think Meyer would have done it next year.

    Now you have a new guy coming in that doesn’t have to apologize to anyone. He didn’t recruit these guys. When I watch the highlights of Luck from Stanford, stiff-arming guys and escaping linemen while looking downfield (he’s NOT a running quarterback either), then I watch our guy fold like a deck of cards when someone gets within 10 feet of him….can’t help but think “what if.”

    It’ll be good for these guys to know they are truely competing for playing time again.

    Is anyone else curious to see how this transition happens between now in the Bowl Game? What Meyer and his staff does vs the incoming coaches? That’s got to be strange.

  34. GATORNATIONSPRESIDENT says:

    Mike Maier—congratulations on having arguably the dumbest comment on OGGOA.com in 2010. Go cheer for the Noles

  35. CH says:

    Mark Maier sounds like someone trolling so I’m not giving it any credence. A true gator wouldn’t say something like, “fire foley” after the hiring of spurrier, donavan and then urban.

    I asked a few ‘die hard bama fans’ what they thought of Applewhite and I’m getting alot of praise from them. Of course, if they asked me if saban should hire Addazio, I’d probably say “absolutely – cough cough”. But the 07 Bama team didn’t have a whole lot on offense for applewhite to work with and texas has been bare at RB’s for a while. He could be a good fit for Brantley. I’m not crazy about the pick, but I’ve figured out that these HC’s and AD’s know a heck of a lot more than I do about how to run a football program. Well, as long as they take the headset from Addazio they do. O-line was much better when he just ran that part of the offense.

    Kirby Smart is NOT coming to gainesville. If AD’s think the Bama defense is more saban’s that smarts, do you think he’ll escape that problem as the DC for Will Muschamp? He’s making 900k a year – he’s not moving except for a HC. Charlie Strong waiting a few years till the right opportunity came along. Smart’s just doing the same thing.

    Dana Holgrens would be a much better option at OC and more likely. If I’m an OC in the Big 12 and realize that soon the Big 12 will be 4th or even 5th best conference (after losing muschamp and nebraska) – I’m shooting for the high profile job at UF for a few years.

  36. Jesse C says:

    I’m happy that Applewhite is not coming but it sucks not knowing who else is on the list. Besides Holgrens, who else would be attainable given that Malzahn is going to be the HC at Vandy? The OC position is the only real important position we need to fill. The DC can be Akina or some other positional coach with strong recruiting skills given our HC’s specialty. CH is right with regards to Smart… he’s not leaving Bama until another big time HC position is offered.

  37. Jesse C says:

    Ooops. Nevermind about Malzahn. Staying at Auburn for ridiculous money. See what he does without Cam next year.

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