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Monday January 3, 2011Muschamp Adds To Staff

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – On the day he was introduced to Gator Nation, new Florida football coach Will Muschamp said he wanted to hire “an experienced play-caller’’ as his offensive coordinator.

Charlie Weis can certainly use that description on his résumé.

Muschamp officially announced Monday that Weis, currently the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, will join his coaching staff next season as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Weis, 54, owns four Super Bowl rings as an NFL assistant over 16 seasons. He joined the Chiefs’ staff this season after five seasons as head coach at Notre Dame, where he compiled a 35-27 record.

“Charlie was a perfect fit for what I was looking for in an offensive coordinator,” Muschamp said. “He has both college and pro experience and has been a play-caller in the NFL. He has four Super Bowl rings and his accomplishments and his ability to develop quarterbacks speak for themselves.’’

Muschamp also announced the hiring of offensive line coach/running game coordinator Frank Verducci and assistant athletic director for football operations George Wynn.

Weis told The Kansas City Star after the Chiefs’ regular-season finale Sunday that family played a large role in his decision to leave the Chiefs after one season and return to the college game.

While Weis is excited about joining Muschamp’s inaugural staff at Florida, he plans to continue coaching with the Chiefs through the playoffs. They host Baltimore in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday.

“We hope the Chiefs make a run to the Super Bowl – it would be great for the Chiefs and great for the Gators,’’ Muschamp said. “Everyone involved with the Kansas City organization has been first class about the transition.”

Meanwhile, Verducci, 53, also brings significant NFL and college coaching experience to Muschamp’s staff. He has coached multiple Pro Bowlers and All-Americans during his 28-year career and served on Weis’ staff at Notre Dame in 2009.

In 2002, Verducci was offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys when former UF star Emmitt Smith broke Walter Payton’s record as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Prior to moving to the NFL, Verducci spent 10 seasons at Iowa working under Hayden Fry.

“Frank will bring a sense of toughness and a physical style of play from our offensive line,” Muschamp said. “It is important that the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator work closely together and always be on the same page. Charlie and Frank had that together at Notre Dame in 2009 and they will have a cohesive plan for the Gators.”

Wynn, who played at Georgia during Muschamp’s time with the Bulldogs, comes to Florida after serving the past six seasons at assistant athletic director for football operations at Texas.

“George and I played college football together and I’ve known him for close to 20 years,” Muschamp said. “George has a unique combination of administrative, compliance and football experience. He will work hand in hand with our various departments to help run the day-to-day operations of the football department and has always had great relationships with the student-athletes.”

Muschamp’s hiring of Weis made a splash around the NFL and college football.

In his first season with the Chiefs – who had won 10 games in the three previous seasons – Weis’ savvy play-calling has helped quarterback Matt Cassel emerge as a potential Pro Bowl quarterback for the AFC West champion Chiefs.

NFL insiders say a large part of Cassel’s improvement and Kansas City’s success can be attributed to the arrival of Weis, who implemented a balanced offensive scheme that he used in New England and that Cassel thrived in during the 2008 season as Tom Brady’s replacement. He has also taken over play-calling for head coach Todd Haley.

Cassel has thrown for 3,116 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Meanwhile, the Chiefs lead the NFL in rushing behind the duo of Jamaal Charles (1,467 yards) and Thomas Jones (896).

Monday’s additions come a day after Muschamp announced that he hired Aubrey Hill, a former Gators receiver, as receivers coach and Travaris Robinson as defensive backs coach. Muschamp retained D.J. Durkin, Brian White and Stan Drayton from Urban Meyer’s coaching staff.

Durkin is the linebackers/special teams coordinator, White will coach tight ends, and Drayton is running backs coach/recruiting coordinator.

 

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