Florida fires secondary coaches Torrian Gray, Ron English as Gators shake up staff, per reports

By Adam Silverstein
January 1, 2021
Florida fires secondary coaches Torrian Gray, Ron English as Gators shake up staff, per reports
Football

Image Credit: @GatorsFB / Twitter

Amid one of the worst defensive seasons in program history, the Florida Gators on Friday fired a pair of assistants in the secondary as head coach Dan Mullen remakes his staff. Cornerbacks coach Torrian Gray and safeties coach Ron English will not return to the team next season, according to 247Sports‘ Thomas Goldkamp and the Orlando Sentinel‘s Edgar Thompson.

English removed all references to Florida from his Twitter profile on New Year’s Eve, and Goldkamp noted that both English and Gray are no longer part of the University Athletic Association’s staff directory. Gray’s Twitter profile still contains references to the Gators.

Florida allowed nearly 31 points per game to opposing offenses in 2020, its worst mark since giving up 41 per game in 1917 — more than a century ago. It ranked 100th out of 127 teams nationally this season in passing defense, giving up more than 257 yards per game through the air.

Over its last two games, the Gators allowed 107 combined points to Alabama and Oklahoma. Florida also surrendered more than 600 yards to opposing offenses three times over 12 games this season.

Gators defensive backs consistently played soft in coverage and were frequently out of position over the course of the season. While the defensive front did show some improvements, the secondary never stepped up even when it briefly had its full complement of players.

Gray joined the Florida staff two years ago, while English was one of Mullen’s initial hires when he took over the program in 2018.

With changes first coming to defensive assistants, it appears likely that embattled defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will remain with the program entering 2021. However, if he does remain for a fourth campaign, Grantham may see an adjustment to his responsibilities, a source close to the program tells OnlyGators.com.

The Gators ranked 74th nationally in scoring defense this season, but they were seventh in that category under Grantham in 2019 and 20th in 2018, his first season. Despite those prior successes, Florida has consistently struggled defending third downs under Grantham, ranking 74th this season (.417), 40th in 2019 (.364) and 53rd in 2018 (.374).

Travaris Robinson, who starred as a Gators assistant under former head coach Will Muschamp, is reportedly the “leading candidate” to take over the secondary. Goldkamp reports Robinson, the defensive coordinator at South Carolina under Muschamp over last few seasons, could potentially join the team as a co-defensive coordinator.

Not only is Robinson highly regarded as a defensive coach and one of the best teachers of defensive backs in the nation, he is an ace recruiter who was responsible for many top-tier players signed by Florida during his tenure.

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