Urban Meyer released a statement Saturday afternoon to announce Steve Addazio as the Gators' new Offensive Coordinator. Last month, Dan Mullen vacated the position to become the new Head Coach at another SEC school, Mississippi State University. Mulen will still call the plays in the BCS Championship Game against Oklahoma on January 8th, but Addazio will take the reigns after that game.
Many questions have floated about who could replace Mullen, but there weren't too many names to leak out in the search for a replacement. We now find out that the reason for that is it was not an outside search for Mullen's replacement. It was going to be promotion from within the current offensive staff, and Addazio got the nod over the others.
Meyer said wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales, running backs coach Kenny Carter and tight ends coach John Hevesy have all been deeply involved in game planning and play calling and would continue that trend with Coach Addazio as the new coach of the offense. Addazio got the promotion though, and will be the new leader for Tim Tebow and the Gators offense (assuming Tebow stays for his Senior year).
"I'm excited to keep the continuity of our play calling within our current staff," Meyer released in a statement Saturday. "Steve has played a key role in our offense in his time at Florida. Our entire offensive staff is involved in game planning and scripting plays. As always, I will remain very involved in the offensive game plan."
Addazio has worked with Meyer twice in his coaching career. He worked with Meyer at Notre Dame for two years and has been at Florida since 2005. He also has play-calling experience on his resume as he was offensive coordinator at Indiana before leaving to rejoin Meyer at Florida to become the offensive line coach.
"I'm extremely humbled because I know it is a group effort of our offensive staff and players that have made us successful and will continue to make us successful," Addazio said. He also mentioned how proud he is to be picked by Meyer as the new offensive coordinator because his previous hires speak for themselves.
If you're wondering if Coach Addazio will continue the "Spread 'N Shred," or if the system will be changed to resemble his Indiana offense, Meyer cleared that up as well. "We will still run the same type of offense. We will continue to put the ball in the hands of our best players, spread the field and try to take advantage of the best matchups."
Addazio does have some huge shoes to fill as Mullen's offense the past two years have put up some amazing stats. Mullen was the third offensive coordinator to be hired as head coach because of what he's done for Meyer's offense. Only time will tell if Addazio can fill Mullen's shoes, but if Meyer's past hires have any bearing, then it was a smart move.
Rusty Thompson is a contributor to GatorTailgating.com
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