Gators hire O-line coach Davis to replace Verducci
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By MARK LONG
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Offensive line coach Frank Verducci is out after one season at Florida, replaced by Tim Davis.
Verducci, a longtime NFL assistant, left to pursue other interests. Verducci has not spent more than two years at any coaching spot since 1998.
His brief stint in Gainesville was far from impressive. Florida's offensive line struggled to open holes in the running game and to protect quarterback John Brantley on a consistent basis. The result was a 7-6 record and the program's worst offense in more than two decades.
It's unclear when Verducci left the program, but coach Will Muschamp wasted little time replacing him.
Davis has 25 years of experience, including serving as offensive line coach at his alma mater, Utah, last season. Before that, he spent two years as Minnesota's offensive line coach and worked alongside current Florida tight ends coach Derek Lewis.
Davis also spent a year as director of player personnel under Nick Saban at Alabama (2008) and worked with Florida coach Will Muschamp with the NFL's Miami Dolphins (2005-06). He also has coaching stints at Southern Cal (2002-04), Wisconsin (1997-2001), Utah (1990-96), Idaho State (1989) and Walla Walla Community College (1988).
"Tim is a perfect fit for our program. He has a history of coaching in a pro-style offense and shares the same program philosophies," Muschamp said in a statement. "It will be a seamless transition for our players and staff. He worked with Brian White at Wisconsin, Derek Lewis at Minnesota, and Dan Quinn and I worked with him at the Miami Dolphins. He understands the values that we put on the line of scrimmage and he will help us get where we want to be at that position."
Florida returns all five starters on the offensive line and signed two of the top recruits in the country at the position. Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries and guard Jessamen Dunker already are enrolled in school and could compete for starting spots in spring practice.
"I'm excited to work with Coach Muschamp again and join the Florida football program," Davis said. "Like most assistant coaches, I've been on a number of coaching staffs and usually there is a transition period when you join a new staff. I don't look at this as joining a new staff, having worked with Coach Muschamp, Dan Quinn, Brian White and Derek Lewis in the past. I understand the shared philosophies of the staff."
After ranking 105th in total offense last season, the Gators will have two new offensive assistants. Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left to take the head coaching job at Kansas in December and was replaced by Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease.
Updated February 13, 2012