The vacancy created on the Florida Gators coaching staff when defensive line coach Bryant Young resigned one week ago has already be filled. The school officially announced on Wednesday that UTEP Miners defensive coordinator Jeff Choate has been added as the new special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.
“We are excited to have Jeff Choate join our staff,” said Florida head coach Will Muschamp in a school release. “He is a high-energy coach, an outstanding recruiter and evaluator, and has a reputation as one of the top special-teams coaches in the nation. He has coached on both sides of the ball and was most recently a defensive coordinator. He sees the big picture and will be a great addition to our staff. We are very much on the same page philosophically.”
Choate, who accepted the position at UTEP just over three months ago on Jan. 8, after the program hired Sean Kugler to be its head coach, was the linebackers coach at Washington State under Mike Leach during the 2012 season.
He spent the previous six years primarily as special teams coordinator for the Boise State Broncos. During his tenure at Boise State, Choate also coached running backs (2006-08), linebackers (2009) and nickel backs (2010-11). He was a member of the same coaching staff as current Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who also worked with the Broncos from 2006-11.
Muschamp has been looking to fill his squad’s special teams coordinator job ever since he promoted D.J. Durkin to defensive coordinator following the 2012 season. He originally stated that special teams, in absence of its own coach, would be taught collectively by his staff. However, following Young’s resignation, Muschamp conceded that he would prefer to bring on a special teams coach.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to join the Gator staff and have the chance to compete at the highest level,” Choate said. “I’ve gotten to know Coach Muschamp over the past couple of years and have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a coach and a person. I’m looking forward to continuing the great special-teams tradition that has been established here and can’t wait to get to work. I would also like to thank everyone at UTEP, and most importantly Coach Kugler, for the support and opportunity they gave me. I wish him and the program nothing but the best of luck.”