The Florida Gators officially announced their first assistant coach hiring under new head coach Jim “Coach Mac” MacElwain on Tuesday with Geoff Collins taking over the defensive coordinator position. The former Mississippi State DC takes over for interim head coach D.J. Durkin.
We knew things would move quickly in the search for assistants to fill out Coach Mac’s staff with the start of the recruiting dead period and Collins announcement is just the start of things.
The majority of former head coach Will Muschamp’s coaching staff were not expected to be retained. However, speculation concerning who might be retained has focused on four main coaches. Durkin, defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, defensive line coach Brad Lawing, and offensive line coach Mike Summers.
It’s been widely reported that Summers is likely to be retained although nothing official has been announced by UF. The hiring of Collins means Durkin, who reportedly is being pursued by both Texas A&M and North Carolina for their vacant DC positions, is most certainly gone after the Gators bowl game. Lawing is expected to be gone as well and reports are he may retire altogether.
That leaves Robinson as the lone potential holdover. Despite reports he had decided to follow Will Muschamp to Auburn, nothing official has been reported by either Auburn or Florida and he is expected to be meeting with Collins to gauge a potential fit for him on Collins staff. The feeling is that he would like to remain at Florida and if so that would be a huge coup for Florida as he is their ace recruiter and has a strong presence in talent rich South Florida. Not to mention he’s a talented defensive backs coach and he’s well liked by the Gators current players.
An interesting name that has been reported to be in the mix to join Collins staff is former Miami Hurricanes head coach and current Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon. He would likely come to Florida as a linebackers coach but could be given additional duties and or titles if he were to come. Shannon, a former Miami linebacker has significant recruiting ties in South Florida as well and paired with T Rob could make a recruiting juggernaut for the Gators.
Stay tuned for the latest in the Florida Gators coaching circus as the week rolls on