GAINESVILLE -- The coaching carousel in football -- both in college and the pros -- is a time of year now as much as flu season, so Florida’s second-year head coach Jim McElwain placed an extra emphasis on staff continuity this offseason as he continues to rebuild the program.
Barring any unforeseen moves, the Gators will enter the fall with the same offensive staff for the first time since the 2007 season under former coach Urban Meyer.
“When you break down a lot of those programs that have been consistently successful, they haven’t had a ton of turnover,” McElwain said.
"That consistency is something that is huge. For us to stick together … it’s a good thing.”
Since 2007, Florida has had 21 offensive staff changes, including six coordinators and receivers coaches.
UF’s offensive staff in 2015 and 2016
Doug Nussmeier - Offensive Coordinator/Quaterbacks coach
Kerry Dixon - Wide Receivers coach
Tim Skipper - Tailbacks coach
Mike Summers - Offensive Line coach
Greg Nord - Tight Ends coach
UF’s offensive staff in 2006 and 2007
Dan Mullen - Offensive Coordinator/Quaterbacks coach
Stan Drayton - Tailbacks coach
Steve Addazio - Tight Ends/Tackles coach
Billy Gonzales - Wide Receivers coach
John Hevesy - Guards/Centers coach
This offseason, Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier rebuffed Southern Miss’ advances and decided to remain in Gainesville, while the Gators retained offensive line coach Mike Summers. Kerry Dixon (receivers), Tim Skipper (tailbacks) and Greg Nord (tight ends) all remain on staff, too.
Continuity was good for recruiting and has been evident in camp this spring also, as the open-portions of practice have run smoother. The players aren’t swimming learning a new system again, either.
McElwain (and Florida’s administration) smartly incentivized continuity by giving assistants multi-year contracts and retention bonuses.
Now we’ll see how much the move pays dividends in the fall.
Florida’s offense still has plenty of question marks moving forward, but a lack of staff cohesion is no longer an issue.
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