Posted: 4:21 pm Sunday, January 2nd, 2011
By Jason Lieser
New Florida coach Will Muschamp has five of his nine assistants officially in place. These coaches are eligible to recruit for the Gators and can visit recruits beginning Tuesday.
Muschamp retained three of former coach Urban Meyer’s coaches and will keep them in their same positions. Stan Drayton will stay as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. D.J. Durkin remains the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. Brian White, Florida’s recruiter who handles California, keeps his job as tight ends coach.
Muschamp also pulled Aubrey Hill from Miami and Travaris Robinson from Texas Tech. Hill, a former Florida receiver under Steve Spurrier, will coach receivers, while Robinson will handle defensive backs.
“I thought it was important to have some continuity in the staff — D.J., Stan and Brian bring that to the table,” Muschamp said. “They are also solid recruiters. Aubrey is obviously a Gator, and it’s always a plus when you have someone coach at their alma mater. He understands the passion and the expectations here, and I know he is excited to return to Gainesville. Travaris worked on our staff at Auburn and is a winner. He has competed at the highest level in this sport and is a good young coach with strong ties to the South Florida area, which will benefit us in recruiting.
“This is a good start to our coaching staff and I hope to have some additional announcements this week.”
Former receivers coach Zach Azzanni and safeties coach Chuck Heater said this morning they will not be back with Florida. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, who also coached cornerbacks, and quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler were not retained, a source said.
The hires leave Muschamp with four spots to fill. One of those is expected to be filled by Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. The Associated Press reported Weis will be announced as Florida’s offensive coordinator Monday.
Hill, 38, played receiver for Florida from 1991 through ’94 and served as a graduate assistant from 1996 through ’98. He was Miami’s receivers coach the past three seasons. Prior to that, he was at Pittsburgh (2005-07), Elon (’04) and Duke (1999-2003) — all as a receivers coach.
In four years as a Gator, he caught 86 passes, 18 of which were for touchdowns.
The other new face is Robinson, who got his start in coaching as one of Muschamp’s assistants at Auburn in 2006. They worked together for two seasons (Muschamp was the defensive coordinator; Robinson was a graduate assistant). Robinson followed with one-year stints at Western Kentucky, Southern Mississippi and Texas Tech.
Robinson, 29, played two seasons in the NFL after finishing his playing career at Auburn.
Hill and Robinson both grew up in the Miami area.
Drayton worked for Meyer from 2005 through ’07, then rejoined the staff this year.
Durkin, a Meyer assistant at Bowling Green, was hired this season.
Brian White signed on in 2009 as tight ends and running backs coach. White has experience coaching every offensive position other than the line, and was an offensive coordinator for Wisconsin and Syracuse.
Muschamp announced last month he will keep Director of Strength and Conditioning Mickey Marotti, who is not an assistant coach.