GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Jim McElwain beefed up his support staff significantly last offseason, and the quality of those hires has been evident in recent months.
Since the 2015 season ended, the Gators have reportedly lost at least eight support staff members to other programs. The latest departure was defensive graduate assistant James Rowe, who according to Football Scoop took the defensive coordinator job at Valdosta State and is bringing fellow UF graduate assistant Justin Hinds with him to be the defensive line coach.
Here are the five other support staffers who’ve been hired elsewhere (new job in parenthesis):
- John Garrett, offensive quality control assistant (Richmond offensive coordinator)
- John Van Dam, program assistant (Southern Illinois offensive coordinator)
- Marquel Blackwell, offensive quality control coach (Toledo running backs coach)
- Marc Nudelberg, special teams quality control specialist (Nevada running backs coach, special teams coordinator)
- Mike Peterson, strength and conditioning assistant (South Carolina outside linebackers coach)
Program assistant and former Florida defensive lineman Duke Lemmens is also no longer listed on the football directory.
While that’s a lot of staffers to replace, McElwain obviously has an eye for talent given the coaching turnover from his first round of hires. Moreover, he can show new support staff candidates that Florida is a quick stepping stone for future jobs.
McElwain has already filled two of his openings, hiring New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Bret Ingalls as an offensive quality control assistant and Southern Illinois tight ends and special teams coach Keith Murphy as a special teams quality control assistant. Look for more hires to happen in the coming weeks and months.
The eighth support staff member Florida lost was Luke “Speedy” Lottman, who worked in the recruiting office and was a favorite among prospects. He was hired by Maryland as the assistant director of recruiting.
On top of replacing Lottman, McElwain is expected to hire additional recruiting assistants this offseason in an effort to continue strengthening Florida’s support staff.
Here are the current members heading into spring practice:
Drew Hughes, director of player personnel
Kevin Barbay, associate director of player personnel
George Wynn, assistant athletics director, football operations
Deidra Church, director of football administration
Bret Ingalls, offensive quality control assistant
Mark DeBastiani, defensive quality control coach
Ryan McNamara, defensive quality control coach
Keith Murphy, special teams quality control coach
Eric Ellingworth, graduate assistant
Christian Pace, graduate assistant
Nancy Scarborough, executive assistant
Andy Belluomini, program assistant
Casey Callahan, program assistant
Chelsea Harris, program assistant
Shawnee Sellers, program assistant