Gators get new “Starr” for football

Gainesville, Fla. – University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer named Ohio native Troy Starr as Director of Football Operations Monday. Starr comes to Gainesville after nearly 15 years as head coach and physical education teacher at Taft High School (Woodland Hills, Calif.) where he developed the Toreadors into one of the most successful teams in the Los Angeles City Section.

“I have known Troy for 20-plus years from his college football playing days at Mount Union, Ohio,” said Meyer. “I’m excited that he is finally joining our staff. We have actually tried to hire him on a number of occasions before, but it wasn’t the right fit for his family and his children at the time. Troy is a natural fit for the Gator football family, having spent the last 15-plus years teaching various life skills at the high school level and the last 20 years coaching high school athletes.”

In his role with the Gators, Starr’s duties will include overseeing the overall coordination of recruiting, as well as assisting with other administrative duties on a day-to-day basis.

Starr earned his B.A. in Physical Education from Mount Union (Ohio) in 1985. While at Mount Union, he was an All-America linebacker in 1983 (AP, Football News) and 1984 (Kodak, AP, Football News). In 2001, he was named to the Mount Union College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Starr began his coaching career in 1987 as a linebackers coach at Carson High School (Carson, Calif.). From 1988 through 1991, he was the defensive coordinator at San Fernando High School (San Fernando, Calif.) Starr spent the 2003 season as the quarterbacks coach at California Lutheran University.

Starr owned a 14-year record of 139-36-1 at Taft High School. He led the Toreadors to four undefeated regular seasons (1996-97, 2002, ‘05). Under Starr, the team won ten conference titles (1992, ‘93, ‘94, ‘96, ‘97, ‘99, 2000, ‘02, ‘04, ‘05), seven Los Angeles Championship appearances (1992, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, 2001, ‘02, ‘05) and won the LA city title in 1998.

Among the athletes Starr developed, the following played in the NFL: Arnold Ale (LB), Kansas City; Dashon Polk (LB), Buffalo Bills; Taco Wallace (WR), Seattle; Morris Unatoa (OL), Green Bay; Bryant Reeves (WR), Arizona; Gregg Guenther (TE), Cincinnati. In addition, the following players were selected as the LA City Section MVP: Jerry Brown (RB), 1992; Nick Dipadova (QB), 1996; Marquise Brignac (RB), 1998; Steve Smith (WR), 2001; Jamere Holland (WR), 2005.

Smith and Holland were named U.S. Army All-American’s and Smith finished his high school career as California’s all-time leader in both receptions (271) and receiving yards (4,545). Brown completed his prep career as the all-time leading rusher in LA section history.

Starr was named the head football coach at Taft High School in 1992, where he was also the Physical Education/Health/Life Skills Teacher.