Though both are denying this seemingly inevitable fact to one source or another, Florida Gators cornerbacks coach Vance Bedford and running backs coach Kenny Carter are likely headed to the Louisville Cardinals to join head coach Charlie Strong‘s staff. Even Strong, who told the Gainesville Sun after the 2010 Sugar Bowl that Bedford had already agreed to become his defensive coordinator, backtracked on his comments. He also said Carter “hasn’t told me that” he was joining his staff.
Bedford explained to anyone who asked him that he would be recruiting for the Gators in South Florida this week, and he is currently doing just that. However, Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun reports that Bedford’s hiring out of Gainesville, FL, “will happen this week.” This falls in line with what four-star cornerback commitment Demar Dorsey (Lauderdale Lakes, FL) said a few days ago. Bedford has even told the Miami Herald that he is “open to working with Coach Strong. He’s one of the reasons I’m here.” Though he added that his “opportunity to stay is also good, and I’ve talked with Coach Addazio about that.”
On Dec. 14, Bedford claimed he was staying put in Gainesville and concentrating on recruiting the incoming 2010 class. “I’m a Gator,” Bedford exclaimed when asked if Strong had contacted him to be a member of his new staff. “I’m trying to do everything I can to recruit well. I’m trying to get to Dade County.” Bedford said at the time that he had neither been contacted by Strong nor any other coach about a position.
Similarly, four-star running back commit Mack Brown (Lithona, GA) told Mark Wheeler of Rivals on Monday night that Carter has already informed him he is leaving the program. This is an unconfirmed report as only Brown has mentioned it thus far, but Carter does have an outstanding offer to join the Cardinals staff. Even though Strong has already hired an offensive coordinator, Carter could be given an expanded role on offensive. When asked after the Sugar Bowl about his future, Carter said, “I’m not talking about anything but this game. I’m not talking about any of that crap. It doesn’t mean anything to me.”
UPDATE: Robbie Andreu of the Sun is now reporting that Bedford is “expected to leave official[ly] later in the week.” He also reached out to Strong Monday evening, who said Carter is “expected to reach a decision on whether or not to take the job or stay at Florida by the weekend,” according to the paper. It was indicated that Carter would be hired as running backs coach – a lateral move and not a promotion.
Strong has mentioned to the press on numerous occasions since leaving Florida that he would not be hiring coaches from the Gators’ staff as not to shake things up or raid the program of its staff. Apparently he has changed his mind about that pledge.