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2 posts from January 17, 2013

January 17, 2013

Seattle Seahawks make it official: Florida DC Dan Quinn leaving Gators, rejoining NFL; ST coach Durkin promoted

Dan Quinn is leaving Florida after two seasons, as the Seattle Seahawks made it official Thursday afternoon with the announcement on their Twitter feed that Quinn will become the team's new defensive coordinator.

The position was open after Gus Bradley took the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching job Thursday morning.

Quinn was rumored after Bradley's hire to be a strong candidate for the vacant position, and the confirmation announcement came swiftly. Within hours, the speculation became fact, and now Florida is on its fourth defensive coordinator in the last five seasons.

"I’m happy for Dan and this opportunity," coach Will Muschamp said in a school press release. "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."

Special teams coordinator and linebackers coach D.J. Durkin was announced as the team's new defensive coordinator in the same release.

“D.J. and I will run the defense, continuing the way that Dan and I did for the past two years,” Muschamp said. “We will look to add another coach that is the best fit for our staff moving forward.”

Still, losing Quinn hurts for Florida. In two seasons at the helm of the defense, Quinn led the Gators to back-to-back top-10 finishes in total defense. He was also instrumental in the development of the unit's front seven, and the players loved and respected him. 

Quinn spent two seasons (2009-2010) as the defensive line coach in Seattle under Jim Mora and then Pete Carroll. Carroll thought highly enough of Quinn to retain him from Mora's staff in 2010, and his familiarity with the personnel and the scheme that Bradley ran helped immensely in Quinn being a seamless hire. 

In that same vein, Durkin provides continuity for Florida, as he has been on staff since 2010. The hire was first reported by Bryan Holt of Rivals.com.

Quick hits: Dunker released from jail; DC Quinn rumored to be target of NFL, Seahawks; Brissett to NC State

Florida freshman offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker was released from jail Thursday on his own recognizance.

Dunker is facing charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, a third-degree felony, and driving with a suspended license, a second-degree misdemeanor. But Huntley S. Johnson, a local attorney who represents most Gators athletes who get in trouble with the law and is working on Dunker's behalf, said Dunker paid $600 for the scooter and had no idea it was stolen, according to reports.

"His position is that he bought the scooter from an individual; he had no idea it was stolen,” Johnson told the Tampa Times.  "And if he paid the amount of money that he said he paid for it, it was certainly a reasonable amount."

Coach Will Muschamp will likely address the situation in a press conference scheduled for noon on Friday.

Quinn involved in NFL rumors

The Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday hired former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to become the team's new head coach, which immediately set in motion rumors that Florida's Dan Quinn would be targeted by Seattle as a potential replacement. 

"There is a 'strong possibility' Florida DC Dan Quinn will return to Seattle to replace Gus Bradley as DC," ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter tweeted Thursday morning, adding that Quinn is reportedly also being targeted for the same position with Cleveland and Philadelphia. 

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport also reported Quinn as a possible name in Seattle, mentioning also that Quinn has interest in Philadelphia.

Prior to joining Florida's staff in 2011, Quinn coached the defensive line in Seattle for two seasons under Bradley. Quinn brought elements of Bradley's hybrid 4-3, 3-4 scheme with him to Gainesville and his familiarity with the personnel and style in Seattle make him a logical candidate.

Brissett chooses destination

Former Florida quarterback and Palm Beach Dwyer High alum Jacoby Brissett will transfer to North Carolina State, according to a report from the Palm Beach Post.

The attraction to N.C. State apparently stems from new Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren, who is familiar with Brissett after recruiting him heavily as the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin from 2008-10. If he enrolls this week, Brissett will be eligible to go through spring practice with his new team but he will not be allowed to play until 2014 due to NCAA transfer rules.


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