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Florida fills out coaching staff with hiring of Ron English, specifies roles

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The Gators now have their full complement of assistant coaches.

Eastern Michigan v Northern Illinois Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Florida Gators were allowed to hire a 10th assistant football coach as of January 9.

Before noon on January 11, they have their last man — and their full coaching staff.

The program announced the hiring of Ron English as safeties coach in a morning release that also specifies the roles each assistant will fill on Dan Mullen’s first Gators staff.

Those roles:

  • Co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach: Billy Gonzales
  • Co-offensive coordinator, offensive line coach: John Hevesy
  • Quarterbacks coach: Brian Johnson
  • Running backs coach, special teams coordinator: Greg Knox
  • Tight ends coach: Ja’Juan Seider
  • Defensive coordinator: Todd Grantham
  • Defensive line coach: Sal Sunseri
  • Linebackers coach: Christian Robinson
  • Cornerbacks coach: Charlton Warren
  • Safeties coach: Ron English

Florida employing five assistants on each side of the ball is likely to be in keeping with the national standard for 10-person staffs, though some programs may choose a 4-6 split.

English and Warren splitting duties for the defensive backs is also not an uncommon division of labor: Florida has had different coaches work with corners and safeties for much of the last decade over multiple different staffs, whether that was in the form of Randy Shannon handling safeties while Corey Bell managed corners last fall or Will Muschamp serving as a de facto safeties coach while Travaris Robinson coached up corners during the duo’s time in Gainesville.

The addition of English gives Florida its only assistant coach with previous full-time head coaching experience — English had a rather unsuccessful run as Eastern Michigan’s head man; Knox, who served as Mississippi State’s interim head coach for its bowl win over Louisville, is the only other coach on staff with any stint at all as a head coach — and its seventh assistant with previous experience on a Mullen staff.

Every current Florida assistant other than Seider, Sunseri, and Warren spent at least some portion of Mullen’s time at Mississippi State working for him, and English, Gonzales, Grantham, Hevesy, and Knox were all part of the Bulldogs’ 2017 coaching staff.

Given that Mississippi State went 9-4 with losses to only SEC divisional champions Auburn and Georgia, national champion Alabama, and rival Ole Miss — in a game in which quarterback Nick Fitzgerald’s injury forced the Bulldogs to scramble — it would seem that the band that has been gotten back together in Gainesville has played a fair few hits of late.