Michigan Wolverines offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who was not expected to be retained after the team fired Brady Hoke after the regular season, has been hired as the next offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Florida Gators.
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.
“Doug and I have worked together on the same staff and I’ve known him for years,” McElwain said in a school release. “We are like thinkers in that he will adapt to the players we have in the program and develop them as we continue to evolve.”
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).
“I’m excited to reunite with Coach Mac – we obviously have a long history and share similar philosophies,” Nussmeier said in the release. “I’m honored to join The Gator Nation and work for one of the most storied programs in all of college football.”
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 culmination of a fantastic 2012 campaign for the Crimson Tide, which 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 the Wolverines did make him the 15th highest paid assistant in college football last season with a salary of $830,000.
Nussmeier won the 1993 Walter Payton Award (Division I-AA Player of the Year) as a redshirt junior at Idaho. He played in eight NFL regular-season games with New Orleans (1994-97) and Indianapolis (1998) before concluding 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 MclLwain 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.
When the 2015 campaign begins, Nussmeier will be Florida’s fourth offensive coordinator in a five-season span and sixth in an eight-season span dating back to 2008.