Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
It took all of about two hours for Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to go from candidate to hire in Seattle. Where do the Gators look next?
Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has been hired as the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator, the Seahawks announced Thursday, just hours after a report that the hire was a "strong possibility."
Quinn rejoins the Seahawks, who he left in 2011 to join Will Muschamp's staff at Florida, after two years as the Gators' defensive coordinator. Florida finished eighth in yards per play allowed in 2011 and fourth in 2012, and went from 20th in scoring defense in 2011 to fifth in the category in 2012. Quinn served as Muschamp's right-hand man on defense, and coached Florida's defensive line with defensive line coach Bryant Young, focusing mainly on defensive ends.
Quinn's replacement as Florida's defensive coordinator is likely to be D.J. Durkin, both for Durkin's own substantial merits — he's a bright mind and has served well as Florida's linebackers coach and special teams coordinator under Muschamp — and for convenience's sake. With less than three weeks remaining before National Signing Day, keeping as much continuity as possible on the recruiting trail will be important for Florida, and the promotion of the well-liked and inexhaustible Durkin would give Florida a great shot at keeping its fantastic 2013 recruiting class together.
As for Quinn: He's a very good coach, and no reporter will have anything negative to say about him. He was always likely to head somewhere beyond Gainesville, and to return to the NFL at some point, so this departure is mostly surprising for its timing. I wish him the best of luck in Seattle — where he'll have former Florida player Jaye Howard on his defensive line, at least — and hope Florida fans realize that coaches getting opportunities in the NFL is a good sign, not a bad one.