- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is going back to the NFL -- and back to Seattle, too.
Quinn was the Seahawks' defensive line coach from 2009-10 before leaving to become the Gators' defensive coordinator under coach Will Muschamp.
Before this season, Quinn spent the past 10 seasons in the NFL with Seattle, the Jets (2007-08), Miami (2005-06), and San Francisco (2001-04). Quinn coached the defensive line with the exception of his first two seasons with the 49ers, when he was the defensive quality control coach.
Quinn's only experience as a defensive coordinator before being hired at Florida was one season at Hofstra in 2000.
Quinn's defenses ranked among the top 10 nationally in his two seasons at Florida. In 2012, the Gators were fifth nationally in scoring (15.4 ppg), second in pass efficiency defense and fourth in rush defense (94.9 ypg). Florida gave up only seven passing touchdowns, which was second only to Boise State (four).
In 2011, the Gators ranked eighth nationally in total defense, seventh in passing defense and second in third-down defense.
"I'm happy for Dan and this opportunity," Muschamp said in a statement. "I've said before that I always encourage my staff when opportunities arise to take the next step in their career. Dan's background is in the NFL and this is a great chance to go back to a place he's familiar with."
With Quinn's departure, Florida promoted linebackers and special teams coach D.J. Durkin to defensive coordinator. Durkin, who has been on Florida's staff since 2010, will still coach the linebackers as well, the school said.
"D.J. and I will run the defense, continuing the way that Dan and I did for the past two years," Muschamp said in the statement. "We will look to add another coach that is the best fit for our staff moving forward."
Despite being away for two seasons, Quinn will see a few familiar faces on Seattle's defense when he returns. Starting defensive linemen Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane and Chris Clemons were all with Quinn in 2010, along with safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
Quinn will take over a defense that was lauded for much of the season and finished as the top scoring defense in the NFL, giving up 15 points per game.
Yet Seattle struggled to hold on in late-game situations, including the Seahawks' 30-28 loss to Atlanta in the divisional playoffs. Seattle rallied from a 20-point deficit at the start the fourth quarter to take a 28-27 lead with 31 seconds left. Atlanta then hit two quick passes and got into field goal range, where Matt Bryant's 49-yarder proved to be the winner.
It was the fourth time this season the Seahawks surrendered points in the final 30 seconds of regulation that either lost the game or sent it to overtime.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.