Heater wants “leadership role,” McCartney happy

By Adam Silverstein
December 28, 2009

As OGGOA reported last Thursday, it is looking more likely that Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer will lean on assistant defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chuck Heater to replace new Louisville Cardinals head coach and former defensive coordinator Charlie Strong. While a decision remains in limbo, Heater spent a part of Monday angling for the job.

“I’m interested in having a leadership role, whatever it might be,” said Heater, according to Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald. “[It doesn’t] have to be a title or anything. I just want to be in a good room with a good exchange of ideas and good guys and that’s what we’ve had since I’ve been here.” Heater added that “chemistry […] is probably the most important part” of a defensive staff though “new ideas and perspective can be a good thing.”

Though assistant head coach and defense/defensive line coach Dan McCarney said he is not interested in becoming Florida’s next defensive coordinator, Heater admitted that having a co-coordinator is an option that may be considered by Meyer and athletic director Jeremy Foley. “I [have been a defensive coordinator] before, and I have a lot of responsibilities as assistant head coach on defense,” McCarney said. “Whatever happens, we’ll have a really good defensive staff again. I promise.”

According to Goodman, sophomore safety Will Hill said that a promotion from within would be the best case scenario for the Gators. “I would like to see someone from the team take over because he already knows the concepts and everything, so I wouldn’t want to change up everything and shake things around,” Hill said. “Coach Heater calls the plays up in the box, so you could say he’s been running it for awhile. It would just be an easy transition.”

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