Defensive staff changes coming as Gators part ways with Gray, English

An abysmal defensive season from the Florida Gators resulted in at least two staff changes heading into 2021, sources confirmed to Gator Country.

Florida’s defensive backfield will be under all new management next season as the Gators parted ways with both cornerbacks coach Torrian Gray and safeties coach Ron English on Friday. Both of their bios have since been removed from Florida’s staff directory.

A team that once proudly claimed the title of DBU fell hard and fast in 2020. Under the leadership of Gray and English, Florida ranked 100th nationally in passing defense, giving up 257 passing yards per game.

On top of that, the Gators fell from 9th in the country with 16 interceptions in 2019 to 44th with just nine picks in 2020. None of those were returned for touchdowns.

Gray returned to Florida in 2019 following two seasons in the NFL. As Jim McElwain’s defensive backs coach, he helped develop an impressive list of talent that includes Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson. The same could not be said for his second stint with the Gators, as several highly rated cornerbacks appeared to regress over that time.

As for English, safety play has been on a downturn for quite some time at Florida, and that didn’t change in the third year under this staff. Too often Florida’s safeties were caught out of position or simply outmatched by opposing receivers this season and in seasons’ past.

The future of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and the remainder of his staff is still up in the air, but for now, Mullen and the Gators are on the hunt for a coach to restore a battered DBU.

There is speculation that former Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson could be the next hire. Robinson most recently served as Will Muschamp’s defensive coordinator at South Carolina, and could claim a co-coordinator role with the Gators.

Bailiegh Carlton
A lifelong sports fan, Bailiegh Carlton knew from a young age that she wanted to work in sports in some capacity. Before transferring to the University of Florida to study journalism, she played softball at Gulf Coast State College. She then interned for Gator Country for three years as she worked toward her degree. After graduation, Bailiegh decided to explore other opportunities in the world of sports, but all roads led her right back here. In her time away, she and her husband welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. When she isn't working, she can almost always be found snuggled up with sweet baby Ridley, Cody and her four fur babies.