Florida loses defensive backs coach to Georgia weeks before National Signing Day

By Adam Silverstein
January 19, 2019
Florida loses defensive backs coach to Georgia weeks before National Signing Day

Image Credit: ESPN Images

With the end of the 2019 recruiting cycle approaching, the Florida Gators now have not one but two positions to fill on their coaching staff. Just days after defensive line coach Sal Sunseri decided to leave Florida in the dust for Alabama, defensive backs coach Charlton Warren is departing for chief rival Georgia.

Unlike Sunseri’s departure, which likely includes a promotion and raise (including the potential to coach his position of choice), it is unknown why exactly Warren is moving from the Gators to the Bulldogs other than proximity to his hometown.

“Charlton is from Atlanta and has a wide range of experience coaching defensive football at several universities and conferences around the country,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said in a release. “His entire coaching career has been on the defensive side of the ball and especially defensive backs. He has developed an outstanding record and reputation in the coaching profession and he’ll bring great knowledge and energy to our staff.”

Warren’s departure was met with disdain from current Florida players and incoming prospects. Sophomore defensive backs Marco Wilson and Trey Dean both laughed, tweeting the same phrase: “Lol okay just don’t coach the best corners in the country.”

Particularly concerning about Warren’s departure is that he was the primary recruiter for four-star DB Kaiir Elam (West Palm Beach, FL), the cousin of former Florida DB Matt Elam who is choosing between UF and UGA. The Bulldogs announced the hire of Warren while Elam, the No. 49 overall player in the class and expected get for Florida, was on campus for an official visit. As it presently stands, 76 percent of the 247Sports Crystal Ball has Elam predicted to the Gators; the two most recent predictions are for the Dawgs.

Warren, who will be coaching his third SEC East team in as many seasons, was set to enter the second season of a two-year, $600,000 contract with Florida that would have paid him $400,000 in 2019. The Gators now have two vacancies on the defensive side of their coaching staff with less than three weeks until National Signing Day.


  1. Colotv1967 says:

    Desperate Little Kirby Smart has stooped to a new low. Couldn’t get the player(s) without hiring away the chief recruiting coach. YeH Kirby.

  2. KB says:

    There is no loyalty in sports people but it is most certainly refreshing when you find someone with that characteristic in sports that is. Coaches come and go as is their right in America to the pursuit of happiness. Best wishes to Coach Warren and like every Gator fan I hope the players he is leaving will be even more motivated to make his debut as the opposition an unforgettable one for Gator fans. This was very calculated and tactical by the group in Athens which tells me UF has their attention as an outfit they see coming for the top spot in the East. The gap is closing and we will soon see how much more so in the near future. Recruiting is based on relationships by the coaches recruiting the kids however, it is more beneficial to choose a school that you want to play for with whom you have the trust and belief in the administration to put the people around you to be successful. Those who don’t will most likely always get disappointed by individuals that place their own agenda above all other things. Don’t ever hate kids for not showing loyalty when they transfer for the same pursuits because it’s the coaches that have demonstrated it’s a business in their actions like this.

  3. Alan Tillman says:

    I could be wrong in my assessment, but it seems to smack of impropriety, these sudden moves to ‘Bama and Georgia respectively. At first I was mildly upset concerning the timing of their switch to rival schools, but I believe the better alternative is to take the high road and wish them both success wherever they land. Florida will hire two outstanding assistants to fill the vacancies. Warren’s move is a demotion in my book, considering Florida is widely known as “D.B.U.”. His move is more curious of the two, but I expect whoever fills this vacancy will continue the tradition of Florida’s defensive backfield being arguably the premier position coach in all of college football. The move will not bring Georgia’s defensive backfield on par with Florida at the position. Even though I believe it to be a senseless (even dumb) move, all I can say is “Good luck”. BTW, I will not be surprised to see Elam become a Gator, despite all that’s happened the last couple of days.

  4. Michael Jones says:

    I am typically all for people taking advantage of opportunities. I wish them the best and move on. But the timing of this move is pretty BS. I have to imagine he has burned some bridges.

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