Long-time Power-5 assistant and former Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English has been dismissed from his role as safeties coach for the Florida Gators after three years on staff in Gainesville, Florida, sources told FootballScoop.
Florida’s other defensive coach in the back-end, cornerbacks coach Torrian Gray is also not expected to return as Todd Grantham overhauls his secondary staff in Grantham’s expected return to run the Gators’ defense.
English had been a fixture on Dan Mullen’s staffs, and thereby Todd Grantham’s defensive staffs, since 2017, serving under Mullen and Grantham for a year at Mississippi State and the past three at Florida.
Gray’s a former Virginia Tech player who had spent a decade at his alma mater, time with the NFL’s Washington Football Team and three years on staff in two separate stints at Florida. Gray had been linked to a potential spot on Shane Beamer’s inaugural defensive staff at South Carolina; the two have deep history to their Virginia Tech days.
But the Gators are facing a particularly uncertain offseason on the defensive side of the ball, a situation becoming more magnified after Florida allowed its final three opponents to score a combined 144 points in a three-game season-ending losing skid that marred the 2020 campaign.
After Wednesday’s 55-20 drubbing by Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, Florida’s pass defense ranked 101st nationally as it allowed nearly 258 yards per game and more than 12 yards per completion.
Florida’s defense showed a drastic downturn this season after ranking in the top 10 nationally in both total defense and scoring defense in 2019. The group dropped to 74th in scoring defense, at more than 30 points per game, and 83rd in total defense, after its bowl game.
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