Florida announces hiring of Coleman Hutzler as special teams coach, replacing Jeff Choate

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp on Friday officially made a third adjustment to his coaching staff following the disastrous 2013 season, in which his team went 4-8, when he announced the resignation of special teams coordinator / outside linebackers coach Jeff Choate and subsequent hiring of Coleman Hutzler, who held the same position with the New Mexico Lobos.

FootballScoop.com and CoachingSearch.com both reported the transition Thursday night.

Choate, who left a position as defensive coordinator with UTEP in January – just three months after taking the job – for the opportunity to coach at Florida, came highly recommended by former offensive coordinator Brent Pease, whom he coached side-by-side with at Boise State from 2006-11.

Hutzler worked at Stanford as a recruiting assistant (2007) and defensive/special teams assistant (2008-09) while current Gators defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin served as special teams coordinator at the school. He joined Durkin at Florida in 2010 under then-head coach Urban Meyer as a defensive/special teams assistant, remaining with the program in 2011. He was hired by New Mexico in 2012 at his current position.

“Coleman is a young coach with a very bright future,” said Muschamp in a school release. “He has a great work ethic and obviously is very familiar with our special teams’ schemes. It will be a seamless transition for our players.”

Said Hutzler: “I’m excited to be returning to Gainesville and be a part of the Gator family again. I enjoyed my time there and have the utmost respect for Coach Muschamp and the administrative team in place at Florida. I understand the value placed on special teams under Coach Muschamp, and look forward to getting to work.”

Former Gators punter Chas Henry told OnlyGators.com Thursday night that he felt Florida was bringing back someone who could help the program going forward.

“He was a great young coach while I was there, seemed to absorb everything that coaches were teaching as a graduate assistant,” Henry said.

Continue Reading » Florida announces hiring of Coleman Hutzler as special teams coach, replacing Jeff Choate

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11/4: Muschamp evaluates coaches, players following Florida’s third-straight loss to Georgia

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 23-20 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs and upcoming home game game against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday, Nov. 9. The homecoming contest will kick off at 12:08 p.m. and air live on FSN.

OPENING STATEMENT

“Very proud of our players’ effort. You dig yourself a hole there in a game like that, continuing to fight and play with intensity and effort and creating some opportunities for yourself. Extremely proud of them battling through the game. …

“Disappointed, we need to finish. We had our opportunities late in the game and didn’t get it done. That falls on my shoulders. We got to get over the hump in those situations. We’ve had opportunities in several games going back to Miami and LSU and some opportunities to cut it and have a chance to win the game. And we just didn’t get it done. That’s on me. We’ll get our players to finish these situations and get over the hump and that’s’ what we’re going to do.”

INJURY UPDATES

Sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries (MCL) remains sidelined but may return in a week or two. The Gators had no new injuries, according to Muschamp, though he did discuss how redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy‘s shoulder ailment has bothered him over the last two games.

“The Missouri game it was a big effect. I don’t think there’s no question. He missed all week. He wouldn’t say it, but he was under a lot of pain going into the game. I certainly think it’s improved from there as far as the wear and tear in the game and taking some shots, obviously. But it has affected him. He won’t say it, but it does,” he explained.

Continue Reading » 11/4: Muschamp evaluates coaches, players following Florida’s third-straight loss to Georgia

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Florida adds former Nebraska OL Tyler Moore

Former four-star 2011 recruit Tyler Moore (Clearwater, FL), an offensive lineman who was set to start at left tackle for the Nebraska Cornhuskers this season but instead decided to leave the program and skip the 2012 campaign due to being unhappy at the school, has chosen to transfer and play for the Florida Gators.

According to ESPN, which first reported the player’s decision on Thursday, Moore chose UF over Florida State as his next destination because of his “comfort level with the Florida coaches” including head coach Will Muschamp.

“I’ve never seen a staff work as hard as their staff,” his father Brian Moore told ESPN. “From Muschamp, to the strength coach [Jeff] Dillman, to the director of player personnel Jon Haskins, there was just a different energy at Florida.”

Since Moore left the Cornhuskers prior to the 2012 season and enrolled at a community college, he is able to take this year as a redshirt and will be eligible to play for the Gators beginning in 2013. Florida added Max Garcia (Norcross, GA) as a transfer from Maryland in the offseason, which means the Gators will have two brand new offensive linemen available to play at the start of next season.

Moore, the No. 67 overall player in the nation as ranked by Rivals in 2011, played in nine games and made four starts at right tackle as a freshman with Nebraska in 2011; Garcia made 12 starts at left tackle for Maryland as a sophomore that same year.

The Cornhuskers had Moore listed at 6’6″ and between 290-305 lbs. in their latest update to his profile. The team’s website notes that he is the “first true freshman offensive lineman in school history to start [a Nebraska] season opener” and has the “most starts by a true offensive lineman in school history.”

The Gators are set to lose two starting offensive linemen (and one reserve) to graduation this season though Florida has only one player at that position committed as a member of their 2013 recruiting class.

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FOUR BITS: Fowler, Haskins, lacrosse, Miller

1 » Five-star defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr. (St. Petersburg, FL), who the Florida Gators have continued to pursue even though he has been committed to the Florida State Seminoles since Dec. 5, 2010, hosted five Florida coaches at his house Thursday night. In attendance were head coach Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, linebackers coach D.J. Durkin , cornerbacks coach Travaris Robinson and tight ends coach Derek Lewis. According to The Gainesville Sun, the Gators coaches gave him plenty to think about. “I don’t know where I’m going,” he told the paper after saying last week he was still 100 percent committed to Florida State. “Not yet. I need this week to think about it. It’s gonna be pretty hard. I’m making a decision that’s gonna stick with me for the rest of my life.” Even though Fowler has remained committed to FSU for over a year, he has visited UF unofficially on a number of occasions.

On Thursday he also took the picture above wearing the Gators’ No. 6 jersey. With a family mostly full of Seminoles fans, Fowler previously felt pressure (especially from his father) to go to Tallahassee, FL for college. Now he knows it is all up to him. “My family really doesn’t care which one I go to now,” he said. “I’m making this decision on my own. My parents and coaches already talked with me, so now it’s my time to make the last call. It’s up to me. I finally get to call some shots.” Fowler will announce his decision on National Signing Day at 10 a.m.

2 » As noted Tuesday evening, Florida has hired Jon Haskins as the team’s new director of player personnel. UF senior writer Scott Carter has since composed a feature on Haskins, who explained what his role will be with the Gators and how he can impact the program from the office. “At the end of the day the head coach is the one who pulls the trigger on who he wants to bring into this program,’’ Haskins said referring to his assistance in recruiting. “We set the table. What really matters is that two days into camp, our coaches feel like, ‘that kid is going to be really good here.’ And then a year later you really have an idea of how he is going to fit long term in your program. When people think about recruiting, they think it’s the sexy stuff – the meet-and-greets and the visits. In reality, in my opinion, it’s more of an interview process. It’s really trying to give our coaches what they want however they want to attack recruiting.”

3 » Though it was only an exhibition match, No. 5 Florida lacrosse absolutely routed England 17-2 on Thursday with the team’s freshmen scoring 12 goals in the contest. Junior attacker Gabi Wiegand scored five goals on seven shots and also had two assists on the evening. Freshman midfielder Nicole Graziano scored four times on five shots, and junior A Kitty Cullen scored thrice on nine shots. The Gators will begin regular season action on Feb. 11 at North Carolina.

4 » Miami Heat guard/forward Mike Miller is set to sell his oceanfront mansion in Hillsboro Shores, FL to the highest bidder in a Feb. 25 auction. The property, which was once worth $12 million, will go on sale with a suggested opening bid of $4.5 million. How ridiculous is the home? The three-story mansion has six bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, two half-bathrooms, two gourmet kitchens, a home theater, a ventilated and climate-controlled wine/cigar room, a game parlor, a wet bar, an elevator, a swim-up bar with a grill, a hot tub, a fire pit and an outdoor entertainment lounge with dual waterfalls, a large plasma TV and a second summer kitchen. The entire property is nearly 13,000 square feet. Interested in learning more and placing a bid? First donate some money to OGGOA and then click here to view the listing. (Thanks to OGGOA reader Charlie B. for the heads-up.)

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Haskins hired as Florida’s director of personnel

Former Stanford Cardinal and NFL linebacker Jon Haskins has been hired as the new director of player personnel for the Florida Gators football team, CBSSports.com‘s Bruce Feldman reported Tuesday evening.

Haskins, who served as director of player personnel for the Nevada Wolfpack in 2011, spent four years at Stanford prior to that as assistant director (2007) and director of player development (2008-10). He worked as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for Pace (2010) and the managing editor of Rivals.com affiliate Cardinal Report (2010-11) in the 19 months between those positions.

A four-year Cardinal starter from 1994-97, Haskins went on to spend three years in the NFL with San Diego and Philadelphia (1998-2000) before playing in the first and only season of the XFL for the San Francisco franchise (2000-01). After hanging up his cleats, he took a graduate assistant role at Duke, helping coach the offensive line, special teams and tight ends from 2002-04.

He also served as the assistant general manager and director of football operations for the Sarasota (his hometown) Arena2 football franchise (2005-06) and spent nearly two-and-a-half years away from the game before being hired by Stanford in 2007.

In his role with Florida, Haskins will primarily be counted on to coordinate the Gators’ recruiting efforts and help run football operations (among other responsibilities). The classes he helped recruit at Stanford finished 50th (2008), 20th (2009) and 26th (2010) nationally according to Rivals‘ final rankings.

Three of Haskins’s four years with the Cardinal were spent with current UF linebackers/special teams coach D.J. Durkin, who was a defensive ends/special teams coach at Stanford from 2007-09.

He replaces Mark Pantoni, who left the Gators’ following the 2011 season to join former head coach Urban Meyer‘s new staff at Ohio State.

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