Florida Announces Charlie Weis As Offensive Coordinator

Less than a week after Urban Meyer announced he was stepping down as Florida's head coach, the Gators have introduced his successor: former Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

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Report: Charlie Weis Hired As Florida Offensive Coordinator

Somehow, someway, this has actually happened. According to multiple reports floating around the Internet, Charlie Weis will step down as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator to take the same position on new Florida head coach Will Muschamp’s staff ahead of the 2011 season. Florida will reportedly officially announce the hiring as early as Monday. The rumor first popped-up yesterday and, apparently, developed at warp speed.

Muschamp was looking for a coordinator to install a pro-style offense in an effort to continue the flood of high profile recruits to Gainesville. In Weis, he gets just that. Weis has extensive experience in the pro ranks, despite a failed stint as head coach at the college level.

Weis has been a journeyman coordinator in the NFL, working his way up the New England Patriots coaching ladder — while detouring to the New York Jets for a brief, fleeting moment — before taking the head coaching job at Notre Dame in 2005. That failed experiment lasted until 2009, when Weis was fired and returned to the NFL ranks. In 2010, he oversaw a successful offense in Kansas City as the Chiefs rolled into the playoffs.


Report: Kirby Smart Offered Florida's Defensive Coordinator Job

An awful lot of never-gonna-happen coaching changes have gone down this week, and Florida appears to have perpetrated yet another: The Gainesville Sun's Robbie Andreu is reporting that Alabama defensive coordinating wunderkind Kirby Smart has been offered what we'll safely assume is a substantial pile of ducats to make a lateral move into the SEC East and join Will Muschamp's new staff at Florida.

This is coaching search news, so please remember to apply a good-sized deer lick of salt before descending upon your message boards of choice in a screaming melee. Everybody's been wrong about everything this week, and it's not that difficult to be wrong about an organization as notoriously closemouthed as Florida football.

To the candidate: Smart is currently pulling down $750,000 a year to run Nick Saban's THE PROCESS defense in Tuscaloosa, a job he's held since 2008. His only previous coordinating experience, prior to a series of position-coaching gigs in I-A and the NFL, was a season steering the defense of Valdosta State.

This would be an interesting get for a couple reasons. Not only would it be a lateral move for Smart, but he's a proven Saban man, having served under the tiny emperor during his time at LSU, Miami, and now Bama. But every fledgling general has to flee the nest sometime, and the offer, whatever it is, is certainly a lucrative one. This could all click together this afternoon or spark a bidding war for Smart's services. You'll know when we do.

For all the latest news on Will Muschamp's nascent regime at Florida, stay tuned to this StoryStream, and connect with Gator and Crimson Tide fans at SB Nation's Alligator Army and Roll Bama Roll.


Chris Petersen To Florida: Why It Might Work, And Why It Might Not

Rumors are always fun. For instance, today's rumor mill is cranking out plenty of static that sounds a lot like Chris Petersen met with Florida officials while in Orlando for the ESPN College Football Awards banquet. If so, that's the first hint of any kind of meeting between Florida officials and a coach of any sort.

If he is on Florida's list, let's review the Petersen file, just in case the Boise State coach actually takes any offer Florida makes to become the new head coach in Gainesville.

WHY THIS MIGHT WORK FOR FLORIDA: Petersen just finished his fifth season at Boise and is sitting on a ludicrous 60-5 record as a head coach, despite coaching in near-Canada with a team full of mostly three-star recruits. Petersen is regarded as being the reason why Boise has been able to enter the national arena on multiple occasions, knock out opponents of allegedly superior caliber, and walk away whistling to their blue-carpeted Palace of Asskick with their head held high. 

Petersen's offensive savvy is extensive and well-documented. He's beloved by his players, and has a knack for pushing two and three-star talent well past the perceived boundaries of their talent. He keeps a low-profile and is the very antithesis of a scene-chewing drama queen on the sidelines. (Here's your tiara, Mike Stoops.) His program has stayed off the police blotter for the most part, an advantage some might not be thinking about in terms of a Florida program with a bit of an image problem.* Petersen, unlike other Boise coaches in the past, has built a defense to match their explosive offense, and pays attention to special teams, as well.

The timing may be advantageous, too. All coaches are ambitious. Chris Petersen is a coach. Therefore, Chris Petersen is ambitious, and may have reached a point of real frustration with being excluded from national competition at Boise because of their non-AQ status. This may be a more compelling argument to Petersen than any amount of money in the end: the opportunity to compete for national titles every year without the BS of the BCS system interfering with business.

*Ah, understatement.

WHY THIS MIGHT NOT WORK: Petersen's done a brilliant job at Boise State, but the question to ask is: would he even listen to Florida? Getting Petersen to the table will be the first and biggest challenge of all. Petersen's famous for never talking about offers period, going so far as to evade search firms' attempts to ask him question one about his basic contract details. He's made it abundantly clear that in addition to being a Westerner, he's also particularly happy in Boise.

The next question is fit.  Boise is small, and Petersen enjoys an intense but loyal following from Boise State players. Florida fans are intense, but loyal they aren't: cannibalism is the rule in the SEC in general, and in Gainesville the proverbial microscope goes up to "electron-microscope-level detail." Petersen would be a low-key bro working in a fiercely contested piece of turf. Accepting any overtures from Florida must also acknowledge the culture shock he'll experience coming into a drastically different environment from the current cozy spot he enjoys in Idaho. 

Finally, there's recruiting. Petersen has no background recruiting in the SEC, and the fortunes of former Boise State coaches Dirk Koetter and Dan Hawkins don't bode well for test cases on what happens when Bronco coaches are asked to find talent elsewhere. In a conference where the word "cutthroat" winces away in fear from the ugly scene of recruiting, it's a legitimate question to ask when considering a coach whose bona fides are otherwise spotless.

For more on Florida's coaching search and Chris Petersen rumors, visit Alligator Army and One Bronco Nation Under God.


Urban Meyer Resigns: Is Bobby Petrino Tops On Florida's List?

With Dan Mullen somewhat-officially out of the running for the Florida head coaching position now that Urban Meyer has resigned, Florida turns is apparently turning it’s attention to the guy who they considered their No. 2 choice when they hired MeyerBobby Petrino.

At the top of the list: Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, who according to a source was Foley’s No.2 option when he hired Meyer from Utah after the 2004 season – and the No.1 choice when Meyer resigned last season before returning a day later. Petrino’s contract with Arkansas has a non-compete clause for teams in the SEC West Division – but not the East Division.

If he were to leave the Hogs, his buyout is estimated to be $3.1 million.

Foley told Sporting News that Florida, “won’t be scared off by contract buyouts.” That means every coach is an option.

Let the speculation continue…


Urban Meyer Press Conference: Gators Coach 'Stepping Down To Focus On Family'

After resigning as head coach of the Florida Gators and releasing a statement in which he mentioned his family as a prime motivator, Urban Meyer spoke to the media Wednesday night.

He opened with, “I have great love for the University of Florida. I’m stepping down as head coach to focus on family and other interests away from the sidelines,” and then he took questions from the media. He did appear relieved and set in his decision.

On when he decided to step down: “Earlier this week i vist with [athletic director] Jeremy [Foley] about some thoughts I was having and made the decision yesterday.”

On how the timing is different this time around: “I love Florida. I’ve got the best bosses in the country. I’ve got a great staff, and that was a knee jerk reaction. The timing wasn’t right. The timing’s never perfect, but this way you get a new coach who can help recruiting and move forward.”

On how his family’s involvement in the decision is different this time: “Last year my daughter came home from college and found out what happened [and was surprised and upset]. This year is completely different. I’m doing what’s best for Florida, Florida players, and obviously for myself and my family.”

“Sometimes we make it far too complex. At the end of the day, you’re gonna be judged on how you are as a husband, as a father — not on how many bowl games you win. I’ve never seen my girls play sports, so I’ve missed those years. I made a commitment to them that I'm gonna enjoy the best years of their lives.”

On the impact of his resignation on recruiting: “I talked to a handful and I’m gonna make a bunch of phone calls tonight and tomorrow. Florida is Florida. We’ve put together a great class. I’m sure the coaching candidates will be great. Full speed ahead.”

On stepping down right before facing Joe Paterno, who may never step down: “Someone made a comment that if Joe Paterno stepped down at my age, it would be 1972. We’re actually great friends. I think I’m gonna see him tomorrow.”

On how Florida can turn it around: “The way you fix it is hard work. It’s because of a constant attrition of assistant coaches. [There are ten coaches throughout college football who were Florida assistants.] You lose five juniors to the NFL Draft, there’s a void. It’s Florida. We have the facilities. This is gonna be a great young team.”

On whether he consulted with associates: “Yes I did, and family discussions. My best friend’s up at Georgia Tech [presumably his daughter, not Paul Johnson], and my other best friends are high school seniors.”

On whether it’s hard to leave after a bad year: “I think Florida deserves the best, and I’m not sure we gave them the best this year. But there’s never a perfect time to leave.”

On breaking the news to players: “It was tough. I met with them today at 2. For the most part they were very gracious.”

On his legacy at Florida: “You look at the ‘06 team, they’ll go down as one of the most overachieving, hard working teams. The ‘08 team, you look at the stats, it’s hard to say that’s not one of the three best teams in the history of the game.”

On why he changed his mind last time: “I changed my mind as far as staff and players — the timing for my boss was not appropriate. It was not a good time.”

On Florida’s 2010 struggles: “I saw a dropoff. There’s a multitude of reasons from injuries to lack of execution.”

You can fix struggles. If it was different timing, and my family wasn’t involved in sports and all the things a dad should be at [I would stay]. My daughter is playing golf at Florida Gulf Coast, and I’ve not seen the school yet. I’m gonna go see it."

On his plans for the future: “Im gonna put a resume together, and I’m gonna try to be a Gatorball baseball assistant coach this spring.”

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