Reports: Doug Nussmeier tabbed by Jim McElwain to be Florida offensive coordinator

By Adam Silverstein
December 23, 2014

Michigan Wolverines offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who was not expected to be retained after the team fired Brady Hoke after the regular season, is set to become the next offensive coordinator of the Florida Gators.

According to SI.com‘s Thayer Evans and FoxSports.com‘s Bruce Feldman, new Gators head coach Jim McElwain tabbed Nussmeier as his second staff hire after naming Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins to the same position at Florida last week.

Unlike Collins, Nussmeier has worked on the same staff as McElwain. When McElwain was serving as Michigan State’s associate head coach, wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator under John L. Smith from 2003-05, Nussmeier was Smith’s quarterbacks coach.

He also succeeded McElwain twice, first as offensive coordinator at Fresno State (2008) and then again as offensive coordinator at Alabama (2012-13).


Under Nussmeier, Crimson Tide signal caller A.J. McCarron set a school record with 26 touchdowns in a single season. Nussmeier also led Alabama to a 42-14 victory over Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS Championship. The 2012 Crimson Tide set school records for offensive touchdowns (68), passing touchdowns (31), total points (542) and total offense (6,237 yards). His 2013 unit was not as successful but still finished as one of the top 10 teams nationally in yards per play.

He left for Michigan after the 2013 season for undisclosed reasons, though many believe the Wolverines made a substantial financial commitment to pry him away, making him one of the highest paid coordinators in college football.

Nussmeier won the 1993 Walter Payton Award as the Division I-AA Player of the Year in 1993 as a redshirt junior at Idaho. He played in eight NFL regular-season games with New Orleans (1994-97) and Indianapolis (1998) over five seasons and concluded his playing career in 2000 with the B.C. Lions of the CFL. He immediately transitioned into coaching, working as quarterbacks coach for B.C. (2001) and Ottawa (2002) before taking over at Michigan State. He went back to the NFL as quarterbacks coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-07) but returned to college when he replaced McELwain at Fresno State. He then served a three-year stint as offensive coordinator at Washington (2009-11) before succeeding McElwain again at Alabama.

Among the quarterbacks he’s tutored in addition to McCarron are Jake Locker and Keith Price (Washington), Drew Stanton and Jeff Smoker (Michigan State) and Marc Bulger (St. Louis), who made the Pro Bowl under Nussmeier’s watchful eye.

12 Comments

  1. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    NOT a surprise to me… I figured it would be Nussmeir or Napier who is currently Alabama’s WR Coach and had worked with Coach Mac in the past. Nussmeier struggled as OC at Michigan but, is that due to his system or the Players and Talent around him. I like the Hire and feel he will be a great OC for us. He usually implements Pro Style Offense and was the Replacement for Mac when He left to CSU.

    P.S. I like the Hire overall, I hope we don’t only do Pro Style offense which I believe is a Square peg in round hole according to Players in the program already. I hope our Offense will be a little pro style and spread offense interwined to confuse defenses. GO GATORS and welcome Coach Nussmeir former Alabama OC to GATOR NATION

  2. gatorboi352 says:

    Just win, baby.

  3. gatorboi352 says:

    It does go to show you though, doesn’t matter who’s under Saban at Bama because they just keep churning out the championships.

    Was it McElwain’s magic? Well, Nussemeier came in and did the same thing. Was he the next new hotness? Well, Lane Kiffin stepped in and is about to do the same thing. Soooooooooooo…..

    Don’t let us down Mac. Might be Foley’s legacy on the line.

  4. Ken (CA) says:

    Now that the key players have been announced, should be a lot less uncertainty in the recruiting. Sounds like the coaches have been making major inroads with some huge recruits already and read a couple of different articles that there is a lot of buzz about UF from the kids that are going to be in the UA game even though we only currently have 1 commit slated to play there at this point.

  5. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    My Biggest Concern in regards to BOTH Coach Mac and Coach Nussmeier is that they don’t utilize the Running ability of the QBs in regards to Read Option and overall utilizing Harris and Greiers Legs….. I think by doing this it takes away from a possible weapon LEGS for our QBs. I think we will see less QB runs due to this Offensive Coaching staff so far. What do you guys think? GO GATORS!!!

    • Ken (CA) says:

      I think WTF? Do you really think that the new coaching staff isn’t evaluating the players and what they can do and what they are good at? You are saying, “FAILURE, YOU ALL STINK” before you have even seen their plan. How do you know what they will utilize as neither has coached a day yet with this personnel? You have no clue whatsoever as to what form of offense they will choose and Mac has proven that he will build his offense around the skills of what he has, not force them to play a system that doesn’t fit them.

      This, aside from the Gnoll troll posts has got to be one of the most absurd here in a while. and ending a post with “Go Gators” doesn’t add legitimacy to it, it is in fact a sorry way to end a ridiculous post and try to pretend it is legitimate.

    • Ziggy says:

      That’s probably right and fine by me. The best offensive system is the one that takes advantage of every player and not just one position or one player. That way, you don’t have to worry about your “star” player getting hurt or leaving early for the pros. I hope Mac builds an offense that is sustainable and plug and play. I am one of Tebow’s biggest fans, but when you have to replace a guy like that, it is really hard because he was such a large part of the offense.

  6. Michael J. says:

    What’s all this “buzz” about UF? There is no “buzz” about UF right now. The truth is that McElwain’s hire did not create any “buzz” about UF. Most kids have never heard of him. UF will have to show some results on the field before any “buzz” is created. We have seen, even in the dead period, a plethora of commits to other teams, but only one to UF, and that one was nothing to get excited about. I expect UF to continue to struggle in recruiting this year, the hire of a no-name coach is not going to change that. This is not to denigrate McElwain’s abilities, he may be a great coach, but he is an unknown quantity to most recruits. UF will take a hit in recruiting this year. Next year should be much better. UF will have something real to show to recruits, not just a lot of talk. It’s analogous to the boy who cried wolf. UF has told recruits how things were going to change for years now. Didn’t Roper say the same spiel last year? After a while it takes more than words, they have to see it on the field, and it’s been a few years since UF was lighting it up on offense. No, this “buzz” about UF is a figment of your imagination, let’s deal with reality.

  7. J.A. says:

    Well we all know that McElwain will be running a pro-style offense now. He ran that type of offense at Colorado St and he just hired an OC that runs that ran a pro-style offense at Michigan. His philosophy is pretty simple and seems like he’s wants to land the big-time stud recruits at RB and WR, similar to what Alabama does, and build the offense around running the ball. He did that last year at CSU with rb Dee Hart(transfer from Alabama) and the wr Rashard Huggins. So, Gator fans we will be a run first team who looks for the play-action pass plays for downfield explosives with McElwain! I hope it works and I am convinced McElwain can get this program back on track. Both of his hires so far have not been sexy ones, but what it does tell us is the type of team he wants at UF. Lets cheer McElwain on and see what happens!

    • Michael Jones says:

      McElwain has also run spread offenses. He tailors his offenses to the talent that he has on hand.

      As for “sexy hires,” I’m not sure what qualifies as one, how we would even know that at this point, or what Gator Nation expects in offensive or defensive coordinators. One coordinators become what would probably qualify as “sexy,” they usually get hired as head coaches. I think he’s made great hires so far. We’ll know in a few years whether they were sexy or not.

      I do agree with you that no matter what, let’s continue to give McElwain the benefit of the doubt and support him unconditionally 100% as our new head coach.

      Go Gators!!!

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