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.