Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Turnover continues on Florida's staff
By ESPN.com staff
With Urban Meyer officially on leave, the revolving door continues on Florida's coaching staff.
Cornerbacks coach Vance Bedford and running backs coach Kenny Carter are following former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong to Louisville.
In the meantime, Florida announced two new assistants Tuesday. Former Stanford assistant D.J. Durkin will coach linebackers at Florida and possibly special teams, which Meyer had previously handled. Former Syracuse assistant Stan Drayton will coach running backs.
Both Durkin and Drayton have ties to Meyer. Durkin was a graduate assistant under Meyer at Bowling Green, while Drayton was Florida's running backs coach under Meyer up through the 2007 season before leaving for the same job at Tennessee.
Interestingly enough, it wasn't the smoothest of partings.
Drayton said at the time, "There was some frustration there. I am not going to lie. But at the same time, you are in a community where they are very supportive of Florida. Florida has been good for me. It was a very comfortable situation there, so I wasn't necessarily looking to leave until I had a couple of my mentors at various levels of football talk to me and they made me evaluate what my career goals were. If I was going to reach my long term goals by way of being a running back coach, they made it pretty clear to me what I needed to do and what system I need to be a part of."
There's still one staff opening at Florida to fill on defense, and former Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez could replace Bedford as the cornerbacks coach.
Chuck Heater coached safeties and also served as co-defensive coordinator this season, and it looks like he will take over Strong's role as defensive coordinator.
Counting receivers coach Billy Gonzales, who took a job on the LSU staff, the Gators have had four assistants leave since the SEC championship game.