Jeremy Foley and the Florida Gators football program got their man on Thursday morning when they agreed in terms with former Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain. With a head coach in place, the Gators will need to move quickly on multiple fronts.
Everyone will point to recruiting and finishing out this recruiting class that currently only has nine commits is crucial but first McElwain will need to assemble his coaching staff.
Gator Country has a preliminary list that we have assembled for possible coordinators that McElwain will bring on with him for his first season in Gainesville.
Nussmeier just finished his first season as offensive coordinator at Michigan. While the Wolverines’ offense was putrid (114th in the country in total offense in 2014) much of that can go back to quarterback play and Devin Gardner.
Nussmeier is young (43) and spent time at Michigan State under John L. Smith before moving on to coach quarterbacks for the St. Louis Rams (2006-07), then Fresno State as the offensive coordinator (2008), Washington as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and finally Alabama from 2012-13 as offensive coordinator. Jim McElwain, who was the coordinator before leaving for Colorado State, recommended Nussmeier to Nick Saban for the position.
With Brady Hoke’s firing earlier in the week, Nussmeier will likely be looking for a job soon and his friend McElwain could reach out to a familiar face to join him in Gainesville.
Napier is the current receivers coach at Alabama where he is in his second season. Prior to that he was the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for McElwain at Colorado State.
Napier is the longest shot to be named offensive coordinator on this list but don’t be surprised if he were to join the staff in another role at Florida.
Durkin is the current defensive coordinator at Florida but his role was undermined in the minds of many fans with Muschamp at the helm. Durkin is innately familiar with the roster and the ability of all of the defensive players and he would be able to keep Florida’s defense playing at a very high level if retained.
Durkin has also been a very valuable recruiter for the Gators. As mentioned before, McElwain is facing somewhat of an uphill battle when it comes to recruiting this season so being able to have not only a great coach on the defensive side of the ball but a great recruiter who is familiar with the players and has relationships with the recruits would benefit the Gators in 2015.
Pruitt was the defensive backs coach at Alabama when McElwain was the offensive coordinator before taking the defensive coordinator position at Florida State for the National Championship season. Pruitt’s defense in Tallahassee finished the year first overall in scoring defense and third in total defense.
He left FSU after just one season to take the same position at Georgia.
A third coaching move in as many seasons may not be a good look for Pruitt but other than D.J. Durkin this would be the best move for the Gators on defense.