Will Meyer lean on Heater to replace Strong?

By Adam Silverstein
December 24, 2009

Monday will mark the 19th day since former Florida Gators defensive coordinator Charlie Strong was hired away to be the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, and head coach Urban Meyer has yet to name his replacement. When then-offensive coordinator Dan Mullen split town for the Mississippi State Bulldogs head coaching gig in 2008, Meyer had his substitute (Steve Addazio) named in just over two weeks.

Whether it is because the Gators are playing their bowl game a week earlier this season or Meyer’s has a desire to prevent another distraction from hindering his team’s performance prior to the 2010 Sugar Bowl, some fans are finding the absence of an announcement about Strong’s replacement troubling.

Earlier this month, OGGOA profiled assistant head coach, defense/defensive line coach Dan McCarney and assistant defensive coordinator, safeties coach Chuck Heater – the two men on the current staff most likely to replace Strong. As time is winding down and assistants are being snatched up by programs across the country, it is looking more and more likely that one of these two will lead the Florida defense in 2010. And though Meyer was believed to be looking outside the program at first (presumably for a big-time name), recent reports and rumors indicate that Heater may very will end up earning the promotion.

SPECULATION: In addition to a tweet by Gainesville Sun beat writer Pat Dooley claiming that Heater “wants [to be defensive coordinator] bad,” rumors are circulating that Meyer has interviewed former Georgia Bulldogs defensive coordinator Willie Martinez for a position coach job. Should Martinez be hired, he would likely coach safeties, alleviating Heater of the duty. Strong’s departure also opens up the linebackers coach job, a position that could theoretically be filled by Martinez or cornerbacks coach Vance Bedford with the other taking over the entire secondary. Martinez, who is from Coral Gables, FL, and considered to be a terrific recruiter, would form a dynamic duo with Bedford when recruiting defensive players in South Florida.


  1. Aligator says:

    maybe Martinez would be a great position coach and recruiter, but he was a terrible DC. What would Heater coach? Strong coached LB’s as well right?

  2. Heater would be the defensive coordinator…I don’t know if he would also have a position to coach. There are a lot of scenarios that could go down.

  3. Brittany says:

    My brother (who is a big UGA fan and all around football enthusiast) and I were discussing Martinez last night and we both agreed that he is a great position coach and an excellent recruiter, so I would be happy to have him on the team.

  4. BRLGator says:

    I think martinez would be a great hire. and i dont want to say that i said that BUT ,that being said(thanks Larry David), i did say when they were considering heater i hoped they would replace him with martinez. there i said it

  5. Daniel M. says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that Brittany.

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