Florida Gators move on from defensive backs coach Kirk Callahan after one year

By Adam Silverstein
January 15, 2016

So much for coaching continuity. Just one year after joining the program as a member of head coach Jim McElwain‘s first Florida Gators staff, defensive backs coach Kirk Callahan will be looking for a new job.

Florida announced Friday that Callahan “will not return” to the program for 2016. “We are making a change on our staff,” McElwain said in a release. “Moving forward, Kirk Callahan will be looking at some other opportunities and he has a long career ahead of him.”

Callahan, 30, was the youngest and least experienced member of the Gators’ staff. He is actually the second hire McElwain’s had to replace as defensive line coach Terrell Williams left the team weeks after being hired in 2015 to take the same position with the Miami Dolphins.

McElwain had trumpeted staff continuity as an important facet of his regime at Florida; the concept has been needed for the Gators considering how much turnover there was over four seasons under Will Muschamp.

A source close to the program told OnlyGators.com late on Friday that on-field coaching issues coupled with recruiting concerns ultimately led to Callahan’s departure. The same source noted that McElwain is hoping to replace Callahan with a more experienced assistant but cautioned that – based on the candidate – a replacement may not be hired until after National Signing Day on Feb. 3.

Though McElwain did not have a personal connection to every hire he made last year, he boasted that each was brought onboard in a thoughtful manner with staff cohesion a primary focus.

As such, potential names that make sense immediately include Mississippi State cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend (previously worked under defensive coordinator Geoff Collins) and New Mexico cornerbacks coach Al Simmons (McElwain’s veteran co-defensive coordinator at Colorado State), though McElwain has also proved a penchant for making “home run” hires like he did with a couple assistants a year ago. Considering the talent and ability to recruit at UF, there should be plenty of options to fill the position.

McElwain will also have to make a decision about offensive line coach Mike Summers, the lone holdover from Muschamp’s staff and the only coach not on contract entering the 2016 season.

Callahan was set to earn $315,000 in his second year, money the Gators will owe in full unless he is hired elsewhere and terms of his contract are mitigated.


  1. Mac_supporter says:

    Adam, do you expect Summers to be back?

  2. SW FL Joe says:

    Not surprising since he was hired in hopes of landing Bryon Cowart

  3. Matt says:

    I sure hope this was a change do to poor fit not some sort of recruiting violation that we find out about later. To make such a change just weeks before signing day is a bit worrisome….

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Apparantly, he butted heads a lot with Shannon on recruiting choices and he was being heavily negatively recruited against on the trail, so a change had to be made immediately. Jayvaughn Myers specifically said he decommitted because of him.

  4. johnnyappleseed says:

    The Gators continue to be the drama queens of college football. How often do you fire a coach a couple of weeks before signing day? How many quarterbacks are popped for taking steroids? How can UF expect to attract any top offensive line recruits when they won’t even commit to retaining the present offensive line coach? How many teams won’t even commit to awarding, the guy that the fans have dubbed the starting quarterback, a scholarship to the , normally the leader of your team, the starting quarterback. Will UF actually have the same wide receiver coach two years in a row? Stability? The only constant seems to be the thing that keep happening that make you go, “Huh?”

    • 305Gator says:

      You should know about drama queens since you see one every time you look in a mirror. A position coach fired close to NSD is not big deal specially one as unimportant as Callahan, in fact this may be a bonus for recruiting.
      What does the Grier suspension have anything to do with this fool?
      Top OL recruits like any other commit to the school first, then to the HC and then to the position coach, besides who says Summers is not being retained. More of your moronic speculations and exaggerations.
      DelRio does not need a scholy but even so who says he won’t be given one at a later date? Again more moronic speculation. There you go again with the WR coach, again do you have exclusive inside info or are you just talking out your rear?
      The only constant is that there will always be some moron posting crap on our blog, this time it happens to be you.

    • Joe says:

      How is it that you have so much free time to troll websites? I’d hate to be you buddy, get a fuqn life.

  5. Michael Jones says:

    For a heavily talented secondary we got smoked too often (see, e.g., LSU game). That might have also had something to do with it.

    As for Summers, if they have a “Position Coach of the Year” award, I thought it should have gone to him. Talk about making lemonade. . I thought the guy did a great job. Hope he’s back for sure.

    Go Gators!!!

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