GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer announced the hiring of Vance Bedford as cornerbacks’ coach Tuesday. Bedford comes to Gainesville after spending the 2007 season as the secondary coach at Michigan, where he had previously worked in the same capacity from 1995-98. Bedford has 15 years of collegiate coaching experience and spent six years coaching in the National Football League.
“I have worked with Vance at Colorado State when he was the defensive backs’ coach and could see that he had a bright future ahead of him at that point,” said Meyer. “He has coached at all levels, from high school to the NFL, and has a proven ability to work with and develop some of the top defensive backs in the nation. Vance will be a great addition to our coaching staff.”
“I am excited to be working with Coach Meyer again,” said Bedford. “We worked together at Colorado State under Coach Bruce and I’m eager to get to Gainesville and work with a championship program.”
Prior to spending last season in Ann Arbor, Bedford was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State (2005-06). Prior to his appointment with the Cowboys, Bedford coached in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. He was the defensive backs’ coach for the Bears for those six seasons (1999-2004). Bedford was instrumental in the development of cornerback Jerry Azumah and R.W. McQuarters and safety Mike Green, as well as 2003 NFL Rookie of the Year Charles Tillman. Bedford’s secondary returned seven interceptions for touchdowns during a four-year stretch, equaling the team’s total from the previous nine seasons combined.
During his first stint with the U-M program, Bedford’s pass defenses were rated among the nation’s best. Michigan led the nation in pass defense in 1997 and ranked 20th in 1996. The Wolverines’ 1997 national championship secondary, led by Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, set an NCAA record allowing just 8.8 yards per completion and finished fifth nationally by allowing just 133.8 passing yards per contest. His secondary in 1997 led the Big Ten and finished third nationally with 22 interceptions.
Bedford began his coaching career at Forest Brook High School in Houston, Texas, in 1985. He moved into the collegiate ranks at Navarro
(Texas) Junior College in 1986, before accepting a position at Colorado State in 1987. Bedford was the Rams’ defensive backs’ coach under Earle Bruce for five seasons (1987-92), including a trip to the 1991 Freedom Bowl. His 1990 secondary set a school record and led the nation with 25 interceptions. Bedford worked with Meyer and current UF recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks’ coach Chuck Heater while at Colorado State.
He spent two seasons as the defensive backs coach at Oklahoma State (1993-94) before joining the UM staff.
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Bedford was a four-year letterman and starter at cornerback for the University of Texas (1977-79, 1981). He set a then-Longhorn season record for pass breakups with 22 in 1981 and is currently fifth on UT’s career pass breakup list (47). A two-time All-Southwest Conference second team selection, Bedford played in the Cotton and Sun bowls twice during his career. He was selected captain of the 1981 team and earned Most Valuable Player honors in the 1982 Senior Bowl All-Star game.
Bedford was selected in the fifth round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He played one season with the Cardinals (1982) and a year with the USFL’s Oklahoma Outlaws (1984) before embarking on a coaching career.
Bedford is married to the former Margaret Bulloch.
With the completion of the coaching staff, Coach Urban Meyer also announced the following responsibilities for the 2008 coaching staff.
Steve Addazio – Assistant Head Coach, Offense/Offensive Line
Vance Bedford – Cornerbacks
Kenny Carter – Running Backs
Billy Gonzales – Recruiting Coordinator/Wide Receivers
Chuck Heater – Assistant Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
John Hevesy – Tight Ends/Assistant Offensive Line
Dan McCarney – Assistant Head Coach, Defense/Defensive Line
Dan Mullen – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Charlie Strong – Defensive Coordinator, Associate Head