Posted: 8:53 am Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
By Post Staff
For Urban Meyer to survive the coaching grind, he has admitted that he needs to delegate more responsibility to other people in his Florida program.
Meyer is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the Gators partly because Meyer is too heavily invested in his program, and his obsessive style has ruined his health.
Meyer handles “Every single facet of this program – every detail, every player issue, staff issue, game planning, just unbelievable amount of preparation, recruiting. It never ceases,” athletic director Jeremy Foley said. “Is Urban Meyer going to be coaching football when he’s 60 and doing it the way he’s doing it now? No.”
But Meyer began lessening his workload on Monday when he hired D.J. Durkin away from Stanford to be his new linebackers and special teams coach, according to the Stanford student newspaper and Durkin’s hometown newspaper.
Durkin, the Cardinal’s defensive ends coach the last three seasons, becomes the first person to have the title “special teams coach” in Meyer’s nine-year coaching career. Meyer puts a significant emphasis on special teams, and has always coached the unit himself since becoming a head coach at Bowling Green in 2001.
Durkin will probably feel a little pressure trying to fill Meyer’s shoes, but he certainly knows what Meyer expects. Durkin was one of Meyer’s graduate assistants at Bowling Green in 2001-02 and moved on to Notre Dame when Meyer moved to Utah.
Durkin becomes the second former Bowling Green graduate assistant to join the Gators’ staff in recent week. Zach Azzanni was hired three weeks ago as receivers coach to replace Billy Gonzales, who left for LSU.
Durkin replaces Charlie Strong as the Gators’ linebackers coach. Meyer still has positions to fill, with the losses of Strong and Vance Bedford to Louisville. and may have new voids to fill in the coming days if Kenny Carter accepts an offer to become offensive coordinator at Louisville, or if Chuck Heater or Dan McCarney move on to other jobs.
A look at the Gators’ current coaching staff, and vacancies:
Indefinitely Absent Head Coach: Urban Meyer
Interim head coach/offensive coordinator/offensive line: Steve Addazio
Quarterbacks coach: Scot Loeffler
Running backs coach: Kenny Carter
Receivers coach: Zach Azzanni
Tight ends coach: Brian White
Defensive line coach: Dan McCarney
Linebackers/special teams coach: D.J. Durkin
Safeties coach: Chuck Heater