Jim McElwain was quick to find a replacement for Terrell Williams, hiring former Texas defensive line coach Chris Rumph on Friday to fill the same position with the Florida Gators.
“Chris and I obviously have some experience working together from our days at Alabama,” said McElwain. “He joins a group of like thinkers on our staff and is someone who will positively affect our players’ lives – both on and off the field.”
Rumph spent the past just one season at Texas, where he was named assistant head coach for defense and defensive line coach. Prior to that, Rumph coached the defensive line from 2011-2013 at Alabama. Rumph also spent five years at Clemson where he coached Gaines Adams — who went on to be the fourth overall selection in the 2007 draft.
Rumph is a young, energetic coach with a knack and passion for recruiting. Rumph was an integral part of the Crimson Tide landing former Gator commits Jarrad Reed at Alabama and was former Clemson tight end — now with the Indianapolis Colts — Dwayne Allen’s main recruiter at Clemson.
An 14-year veteran of coaching at the college level, Rumph began his career as a graduate assistant at South Carolina in 1997 before moving back home to take over as the head coach of the high school where he played. He has coached cornerbacks, outside linebacker and defensive ends at the collegiate level and will have a wealth of talent to work with in returning players like Jon Bullard, Caleb Brantley, Jay-nard Bostwick, Bryan Cox Jr and Alex McCalister.
His first order of business, however, will be to meet with five-star commit CeCe Jefferson. Jefferson picked Florida over Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss on National Signing Day but has yet to send in his national letter of intent. Jefferson’s father — Leo — has said that the family is holding out until Florida announced a new position coach for his son.
Rumph has a history with Jefferson, recruiting the Baker County defensive end while he was at Alabama. The two have a prior relationship and the hire should end the Jefferson saga soon.
As a coach, Rumph is a high-energy guy, much like defensive coordinator Geoff Collins. A young, smart defensive mind, Rumph will fit in well with the new defensive staff that McElwain has assembled. More importantly, Rumph knows his x’s and o’s and will get the most out of a group that has a lot of talent and a lot of potential.