The Zooker Was a Nice Guy…
Let’s look at some numbers and seech:
From Boys of Old Florida Blog:
“Coaching staff 2006 Florida Gators
• Urban Meyer – Head Coach
• Steve Addazio – Tackles/Tight Ends
• Stan Drayton – Running Backs
• Billy Gonzales – Wide Receivers
• Chuck Heater – Recruiting Coordinator/Cornerbacks
• John Hevesy – Centers/Guards
• John “Doc” Holliday – Associate Head Coach/Safeties
• Greg Mattison – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
• Dan Mullen – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Charlie Strong – Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
Three of those men are now head coaches in their own right, with Strong at Louisville, Mullen at Mississippi State and Holliday at Marshall. Gonzales is at LSU, and Mattison with the Baltimore Ravens. Hevesy went with Mullen to MSU.
That leaves Addazio, Drayton and Heater from a staff that won the BCS title only a couple of years ago. Only 3 of the 9 assistants remain.
The coaching core of the Florida 2006 and 2008 BCS Champions weren’t constructed by Meyer when he came to Florida in 2005 – it was formed at Bowling Green in 2001. Mullen, Gonzalez and Hevesy all followed Meyer from Bowling Green to Utah, and then to Florida. Meyer and Mullen were together even before that at Notre Dame, with Meyer as the special teams coach and Mullen a graduate assistant. The two traveled the country learning the foundations of what would become the spread option from names like Scott Linehan and Joe Tiller. Then at Bowling Green, and later Utah, the two perfected what would later be so successful at Florida.
In other words, its as much Mullen’s offense as Meyer’s and perhaps, because Mullen did the play calling, even more so.
Further, don’t underestimate the loss of Charlie Strong. The Gators won the BCS titles in 2006 and 2008 as much on defense as offense.
All that coaching talent – gone. What remains is Meyer and the coaches that, for whatever reason, haven’t been seen fit to be hired away by other programs. The coaching heart (Strong) and soul (Mullen) of the championship teams are gone.
It happens everywhere, whether at FSU in the ‘90s or USC in the early part of the century. The best assistants leave, leaving the rest. Programs decline.
So what I’d like to see this weekend is some sign IT isn’t over. That doesn’t necessarily mean a win, it means the ability to fight when you are down. It means that spark, that passion that seems to be missing. It wasn’t too long ago opposing fans were taunting us when Meyer cried after a loss. Well, Urban “Crier” has a couple of little crystal trophies that your less emotional coaches don’t.
I want that guy back.
Because if it’s over, let’s get on with what’s next.”
Yeah, and D coordinators don’t make a difference? Which brings me to our guy, Grantham. Who week 2 of being here said this, “If you want to kick Florida’s ass, you better start working now!”. Do you think he takes this seriously?
Back and forth I have tried to think about how far us and UF have fallen. We have done a gradual tail off since 2007, fired a bunch of D coaches and some O realignments are almost surely to come this year. UF has lost almost all every damn on of their top assistants to head coaching. Not only that, look at how well they are doing. If we win this weekend, I finally think we all can say that winning a MNC is not about having Tebow and Percy Harvey, but also about having an assload of talent in the press box, too.
Look for Meyers, unlike Richt, to cowardly blame everything except his coaching style and bolt for retirement or the NFL next year. Good riddance.