Steve Addazio hired as Temple Owls head coach

A source inside the Florida Gators football program confirmed to OGGOA Wednesday afternoon that offensive coordinator Steve Addazio has been hired by the Temple Owls to be the team’s next head coach.

Addazio, who interviewed for the position on Monday, struggled over the last two seasons as Florida’s offensive coordinator but is considered a terrific position coach, recruiter and motivator who always does his best to get maximum effort from his players.

He was named ESPNU’s recruiter of the year due to the major part he played in helping corral the Gators’ top-ranked 2010 recruiting class and served as interim head coach for Urban Meyer after he briefly stepped down and then during his recovery last year. Addazio replaced Meyer at numerous public speaking engagements and helped fill in the coaching staff with new hires after it was ravaged by departures when former defensive coordinator Charlie Strong accepted the Louisville head coaching position.

Addazio has coached in college since 1995. He served as offensive coordinator at Indiana from 2002-04 before being plucked away by Meyer to coach the offensive line and tight ends at Florida, a role he held for two years. Meyer promoted Addazio to assistant head coach from 2007-08 and then to offensive coordinator after Dan Mullen left to take the top job with Mississippi State before the 2009 season.

Much maligned by Gators fans for his tenure as the team’s playcaller, Addazio’s future with Florida appeared bleak with Meyer stepping down and new head coach Will Muschamp looking for an offensive coordinator with both college and NFL experience.

He is the ninth assistant coach under Meyer who has gone on to become a Division I head coach following in the footsteps of Gregg Brandon (Bowling Green), Kyle Whittingham (Utah), Mike Sanford (UNLV), Tim Beckham (Toledo), Mullen, Doc Holliday (Marshall), Strong and Dan McCarney (North Texas).

Signing a five-year deal at Temple, he will replace head coach Al Golden, who recently left to accept the same job with the Miami Hurricanes.

A press conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA, on Thursday though Addazio is expected to coordinate the Gators’ offense in the 2011 Outback Bowl.

This story was first reported by the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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TWO BITS: women’s basketball, Frazier, Strong

1 » Participating in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center-hosted Gator Holiday Classic, Florida Gators women’s basketball (10-3) defeated the Alabama State Hornets (2-7) and Robert Morris Colonials (4-6) in consecutive days to capture the tournament title. Florida’s freshman guard Brittany Shine was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Performer after accounting for 47 points and 10 assists in a two-game span. Also honored after the event was freshman G Jattera Bonds, who scored 16 points and notched 12 assists to earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team. The Gators dominated the Hornets 95-38 on Monday and took it to the Colonials 70-50 on Tuesday.

3 » With Florida basketball struggling already this season, there is plenty of anticipation from fans to see 2011 five-star shooting guard Brad Beal (St. Louis, MO) burst on the scene next season. While Beal is expected to be the next great player to step foot in the O’Connell Center, 2012 four-star SG Michael Frazier (Tampa, FL) – also a Gators commitment – is making a name for himself during his junior season. Frazier posted 45 points in the Bright House Networks Tournament Championship game on Tuesday, leading his team to a 71-69 victory while earning MVP honors. He scored 110 total points in three games in the tournament including 40 in the semifinal game.

Extra BIT » Former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, currently in his first season as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, led his team to victory in the 2010 Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, FL. Strong’s Cardinals defeated the Southern Miss Golden Eagles and head coach Larry Fedora, a former offensive coordinator of the Gators. Louisville’s victory marked the team’s seventh bowl game win since it started playing football in 1912 and capped an inaugural season in which Strong posted a 7-6 record. The Cardinals finished 4-8 in 2009.

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Stoops denies he is close to signing with Florida

Head coach Bob Stoops may leave the Oklahoma Sooners for the Florida Gators He also may not. Either way, Stoops explained to Tulsa World on Saturday that reports stating he is close to signing with Florida are false.

“Not true, whatsoever,” Stoops told the paper‘s Dave Sittler via text message. “I’m out recruiting [for Oklahoma] as we text.”

A seven-time Big 12 champion who also captured a national title after serving as the Gators’ defensive coordinator under head coach Steve Spurrier, Stoops has been the object of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley‘s affection for years.

Foley has tried to hire Stoops on two other occasions but was rebuffed both times.

Though Stoops is widely believed to be the University of Florida‘s number one choice, word out of Gainesville, FL, is that Boise State Broncos head coach Chris Petersen not far behind in Foley’s pecking order.

Petersen, who has led Boise State since 2006, has never won fewer than 10 games in a season, is 2-0 in BCS bowl games (0-2 in non-BCS bowls), and has won four Western Athletic Conference titles in five seasons. He is also a two-time Paul “Bear” Bryant Award winner as Coach of the Year (2006, 2009).

Other current head coaches rumored to be up for the Florida job – in no particular order – include Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh, Connecticut’s Randy Edsall, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Louisville’s Charlie Strong, Southern Mississippi’s Larry Fedora and Houston’s Kevin Sumlin. Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, in line to succeed Mack Brown, is also believed to be an option.

Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino was thought to be a top candidate for UF, but he reportedly agreed to seven-year contract extension on Friday. Petrino was supposedly Foley’s number two choice when he hired current/former head coach Urban Meyer.

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SIX BITS: Austin, Hines, Moore, Okine, Jones

1 » New Florida Gators defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is confident, so much so that he has won over players like junior safety Will Hill. “He came in and was very direct and straightforward,” Hill said, according to The Miami Herald. “He has a lot of high expectations. We come out ready, he tells us what to do and we just do it. Nobody is bumping heads or anything.” Even though Austin lost a lot of playmakers from Charlie Strong’s unit last year, he knows Florida’s defensive prowess is not being ignored. “I don’t think anyone will overlook us,” Austin said. “They may because we did lose so many quality players, but we had quality players [behind them] in the program.” His philosophy? “Guys are going to be aggressive and take the fight to the other team. That’s the mentality. On defense, you never want to sit back. You want to dictate the offense, not have the offense dictate to you.”

2 » In case you didn’t know, redshirt sophomore wide receiver Omarius Hines is a beast. So much so, in fact, that the 224-pounder is taking snaps at a hybrid tight end role that he will be featured in this season. “I will play tight end and some slot receiver,” Hines said of his position. “It will create mismatches because I’m fast and strong and stuff, so the linebackers won’t really be able to catch me. He has plenty of fans on the team, too. “He’s one of the strongest guys on the team,” redshirt senior Emmanuel Moody admitted, per the Herald. “I don’t know if you’ve seen his physical physique, but they call him the Greek [god].”

3 » Redshirt senior WR Carl Moore, who has been up-and-down since transferring to Florida, feels he is ready to take on the challenges of being a primary pass-catcher this year. “I can say that when I first got here, I was a little more selfish. I didn’t understand the system and how it had to be. Now I understand everything and I’m all in.”

4 » As OGGOA noted briefly yesterday via Twitter, redshirt sophomore Earl Okine, who was previously a defensive end but was moved to TE during fall practice, is back working at DE now that the team feels more comfortable at the other position. Okine played some TE in high school but is better suited on the defensive front.

5 » Freshman running back Malcom Jones, a preferred walk-on who led his high school team to a 2009 District Championship on 1,449 yards and 14 touchdowns, chose to try his luck with the Gators rather than take a scholarship to Florida International, Jacksonville, Toledo or Tennessee-Martin, according to Clay Today.

6 » Interesting column published by The Gainesville Sun’s Pat Dooley on Thursday, taking a look at how everything seemed to change for Florida football 20 years ago in 1990. As he notes, the Gators were “a bit of a joke” before then, producing top-level talent but never actually winning anything substantial. “No team in college football has won more games the last two decades than Florida. A program that could not get to 10 wins in a season [prior to 1990] has averaged 10 wins a season over the past two decades. Gator teams have won almost 80 percent of their games, 83 percent if you don’t count the Ron Zook years.” Read the rest…

Photo Credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

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ESPN’s Jesse Palmer on the 2010 Florida Gators

During an ESPN conference call yesterday, former Florida Gators quarterback now network analyst Jesse Palmer spoke at length about the upcoming college football season. OGGOA had an opportunity to participate in the discussion and got Palmer to talk a bit about the 2010 version of the team. Read it all…after the break:
Continue Reading » ESPN’s Jesse Palmer on the 2010 Florida Gators

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Make it three: Josh Haden to join Florida in Jan.

In a move that has been expected for qutie some time, former Boston College Eagles running back Josh Haden, the brother of both current Florida Gators freshman safety Jordan Haden and Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Joe Haden, plans to transfer to the University of Florida in January.

The Orlando Sentinel caught up with Jordan at Florida Media Day on Tuesday, who confirmed that his older brother would be heading to Gainesville, FL, in the new year. This corroborates what Joe said a few months ago in an interview with NFL.com.

“I have a little brother. He’s a running back at Boston College. He’s transferring now to, probably, Florida,” he said at the time.

Prior reports had Josh picking between Florida, Louisville (head coach Charlie Strong) and a number of other undisclosed schools. He will have to sit out one full season (2010) due to NCAA transfer regulations.

OGGOA will have a number of other updates coming out of Florida Media Day shortly.

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Florida Gators 2010 Fall Practice Preview

Thursday begins fall practice for the Florida Gators, and the team will be going into the 2010-11 season with more questions than answers for the first time in recent memory. From reserves taking over as starters to freshmen trying to make an impact right away, head coach Urban Meyer and his revamped coaching staff will be taking a close look at each and every player stepping on the field over the next few weeks

OGGOA is here to provide you with a preview of exactly what you should watch for and pay attention to, even though practice is closed to both the media and public.

Check out players who are stepping up, fighting for their jobs and trying to break out, as well as notable freshman who hope to make an impact…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida Gators 2010 Fall Practice Preview

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Five-star DE/LB Chris Martin transferring to UF

Five-star defensive end/linebacker Chris Martin, one of the top recruits in the nation last year, will transfer to the Florida Gators after originally committing to the California Golden Bears, according to Rivals.

Martin, who was heavily pursued by Florida throughout the recruiting process, decided to attend California in order to be close to his hometown of Oakland, CA. As OGGOA reported early Wednesday, Martin felt he was too distracted by playing close to home and wanted to concentrate on both football and his studies in Gainesville, FL.

“When you’re distracted like that your heart isn’t fully focused on where it needs to be and it wasn’t out there,” Martin told The Gainesville Sun. “I felt it was somewhere else, and I think I found the place. […] I came to this decision because I felt that’s where my heart was and I decided to follow it. It ended up being a decision that my family supported me through. I probably have one of the craziest stories on how I ended up at Florida. It’s been a wild, wild road.”

Considered the top recruit coming out of Colorado (he recorded 11 sacks and five forced fumbles for Grandview High School in Aurora, CO), Martin will have to redshirt his first season because he had already enrolled in Berkley, CA.

“I’m not upset about [redshirting],” he said per the Sun. “I’m actually looking forward to it because it will allow me to get into the weight room and get me in the playbook. It will give me a chance to get in and settle down, because when I get there there’s going to be a lot of stuff thrown at me. Next year is when I’ll do all my damage, but this year it’s going to be an adjustment.”

Rivals ranked him the No. 18 overall recruit in 2010 and fifth best DE/LB; ESPNU had him pegged as the No. 111 player available and a top 10 DE.

Martin could play either strongside defensive end or outside linebacker and is looking forward to joining the nation’s top recruiting class.

“I have been blessed to have a second chance with Florida,” Martin told ESPN. “That was where I was going until coach [Charlie] Strong left for Louisville. Then I made up my mind I was going to Florida again. Then it came out about coach [Urban] Meyer and his heart problems. I freaked out and couldn’t do it. It just didn’t feel right at the time for me with the Gators. […] My heart was in Gainesville.”

Photo Credit: ESPN

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