Thursday July 11, 2013Muschamp adds UF graduate Latimer -- and a World Series ring -- to his staff
Updated: 8:58am, July 12
Updated: 8:58am, July 12
Jason Latimer is new director of external communications for Florida's football program.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The newest member of the UF football staff has never called a fourth-and-1 play or devised a game plan for Florida State.
But Jason Latimer owns a unique distinction no one else on Gators coach Will Muschamp’s staff has: a World Series ring.
Latimer joined Florida’s football program this week after seven seasons as a media/player relations specialist with the New York Yankees. Latimer worked alongside Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and the rest of the Bronx Bombers when they won the 2009 World Series.
A 2002 Florida graduate and Tampa native, Latimer is the new director of external communications for the Florida football program. Latimer is in charge of leading the program’s branding efforts, managing the coaches’ website, developing the program’s social media strategy and various other duties as Florida football moves deeper into the 21st century.
“Technology has offered myriad new avenues in which to interact with fans, students, alumni, players, recruits, etc., and Coach Muschamp has the vision for the University of Florida football program to find innovative ways to be at the forefront of those communications,’’ Latimer said. “The thought of being a part of an initiative from the ground floor was very appealing, and is an exciting new challenge for me.”
Latimer began his career in the communications department of the Tampa Bay Rays after graduating from UF. He spent four years with the Rays before joining the Yankees in 2007.
The opportunity to return to his alma mater had special appeal following several years in New York.
“I maintain that one of the best sporting events I have ever witnessed in person was the 2001 game vs.Tennessee,’’ he said. “The Gators lost that back-and-forth game which had been rescheduled to the end of the season after the Sept. 11 attacks. As someone who has been to a Super Bowl and a World Series, I can honestly tell you I have never been in a louder venue with more excitement than that game.”
During his time in the Big Apple, Latimer stayed connected to UF football through the Gotham Gators that meet on weekends to watch games.
One of their former viewing partners is now much closer to the action.
“I'm proud to return to this great university and work for such a prestigious program,’’ he said.