Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp held a 20-minute-long press conference on Wednesday to officially announce his hiring of Brent Pease as the team’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Throughout the course of the interview, Muschamp answered a number of questions fans undoubtedly have expressed about Pease, new strength and condition coach Jeff Dillman and the team heading into the 2012 season. Aside from his opening statement, OGGOA has rearranged and grouped Muschamp’s responses together in different categories for clarity.
On Pease: “Really excited to have Brent Pease join our staff as offensive coordinator. When you go out and talk to numerous people, many [of whom were] very qualified for this job, he really is the right fit for us. And really I go back to that word ‘fit.’ We have an outstanding offensive staff – Frank Verducci, Brian White, Aubrey Hill and Derek Lewis – and really it was about bringing a guy in that was going to be a good fit for the room, bring some new ideas, bring some new energy to what we’re trying to do but understand we’re not changing philosophically about where we’re headed with this thing. Understand what we need to do to continue to move forward, bring some new ideas as far as personnel groupings, formations and all that is great but understand we’re not changing who we are and what we are. Brent understands that.
“He’s got a great experience in a lot of different places. [Him] having coached in this league and called offenses in this league and in this stadium was important to me. He understands this stage and what you’ve got to do to be successful, and really offensively he’s been the backbone at what they’ve done at Boise for the last seven years. They’ve had tremendous success. Obviously coaching quarterbacks is his expertise and playing in the NFL as a quarterback [is a plus]. You also look at the success he had coaching wide receivers at Boise. He did an outstanding job with that group there.
“At the end of the day, [he can provide] the balance we want to remain on offense and [was] the right fit for we’re looking for. It’s really exciting. He watched our practice at the Gator Bowl practices, came back and he and his wife Paula, who’s wonderful, this past weekend came and spent the weekend in Gainesville and they wanted to be Gators. [They are] really excited.
“When you have an opportunity and you have an opening, you need to make sure you make yourself better. And I think we did with Brent, and I’m really excited about him being a part of our staff. He’s an outstanding recruiter. I ran across Brent about 12-14 years ago. I was at Valdosta State and he was at Northern Arizona. We were recruiting a young man out of Lowndes County – Vincent ‘Sweet Pea’ Burns. He got [him] to leave Lowndes County to go to Northern Arizona, so right then I knew he could recruit. He’s a guy that has been on my radar for a long time as a football coach. I faced him when we were at LSU and he was at Kentucky. Again, really liked what he did what he did with that team offensively, creating ways to get his playmakers the ball, creative in the play calling and the tempos and the different stuff. As he’s progressed, he and I have kept in pretty good contact through that time. A lot of respect for this guy as a football coach. When you meet him and get to know him, you’re going to see a very intelligent guy that is going to add a lot of the University of Florida. Really excited about this hire.”
On Dillman: “Also, after the bowl game, we named Jeff Dillman our head strength and conditioning coach. He will oversee all of our programs and was hired by the athletic department. Really excited about Jeff. Jeff and I were together at LSU – won a national championship together. He left and when to Appalachian State for three years where he won two national championships in ’06-’07. Jerry Moore, a guy who I have tremendous respect for at Appalachian State, I called and asked him about Jeff and he just had nothing but great things to say. Of course most recently he’s been working at IMG, preparing a lot of guys for the NFL Draft and then NFL players are coming back and training under him. He brings a lot of passion and energy and expertise in the weight room. We’re going to go to more of an Olympic-style lifting, what I was exposed to at LSU. Very excited about what he brings to the table.”