Former Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn
While the college football coaching carousel is winding down, the NFL edition is still spinning at full force.
The Florida Gators have now apparently hopped on board.
The Seattle Seahawks have announced Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their new defensive coordinator:
Seahawks name Dan Quinn defensive coordinator to replace Gus Bradley.— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 17, 2013
Head coach Will Muschamp moves fast though. According to Scott Carter of GatorZone.com, Florida has promoted linebackers coach D.J. Durkin to replace Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator.
“D.J. and I will run the defense, continuing the way that Dan and I did for the past two years,” Muschamp added. “We will look to add another coach that is the best fit for our staff moving forward.”
This is Durkin's first defensive coordinator job. He has been with Florida since 2010, and served as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator in 2011.
It's the right call for Muschamp to promote from within. Durkin has the familiarity with the current system and recruiting plan to step in quickly and not miss a beat. Nevertheless, Quinn's departure is a big loss for the Gators.
He was instrumental in building Florida's D, which finished in the top 10 nationally in total defense in each of Quinn's two seasons in Gainesville.
In 2012, Florida gave up just 286.7 yards per game and was the foundation of a Gator team that was in the mix for the national title through the final weekend of the regular season, ultimately earning a Sugar Bowl bid.
While head coach Will Muschamp is a defensive-minded coach and certainly plays a big role in getting the defense prepared, Quinn—who also served as Florida's defensive line coach—was an instrumental part of that stellar defensive line and the front seven in general.
Did Florida make the right call promoting D.J. Durkin to defensive coordinator?
That defense finished third in the SEC in turnover margin (1.15).
The timing isn't good on the recruiting front.
National signing day is less than three weeks away, and now Florida is not only focused on recruiting, but hiring a successor and retaining those commitments already in house with whom Quinn has established relationships with and getting them comfortable with Durkin—if they aren't already.
Plus, there's some firepower coming to visit. Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's consensus No. 1 overall prospect, is making an official visit to Gainesville this weekend according to Rivals.com (subscription required). Nkemdiche's interest with Florida is a relatively new development, so the change probably won't be a major factor. But it is still an issue.
For the sake of recruiting and continuity, the Gators were smart to turn to D.J. Durkin. But they're still losing a good defensive coordinator in Dan Quinn.