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Florida Gators assistant Geoff Collins to be Temple's next coach, ESPN reports

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

13

December

Florida Gators defensive coordinator Geoff Collins will be the next head coach at Temple, ESPN reported Tuesday morning.

Collins will replace Matt Rhule, who took over Baylor last week.

"That's kind of cool, people taking note as far as whaat we're doing and how we're going about it," UF coach Jim McElwain told reporters in Gainesville on Tuesday. "I'm really excited for him moving forward." 

The move isn't a total surprise. Collins has made it clear that he would eventually like to be a head coach. The timing makes sense; after two strong seasons in charge of UF's defense, the Gators will lose almost every starter on that side of the ball. Collins' stock wasn't going to rise next season.

Collins interviewed at UCF last season, and his name came up in the USF search.

"It should be," McElwain said last week. "He's a heck of a coach."

Here's what else McElwain said about Collins' head-coaching prospects last week during a media session to promote the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium:

"They're going to get a guy that motivates players. A guy that really understands the game and understands both sides of the ball, not just the defensive side. He's done a great job of studying the offensive side and the things that it takes there. A relentless, competitive recruiter, and a guy that's now been around at some places to see how he can establish his own kinds of ways of doing things."

Collins' defenses have carried UF in the McElwain era. This year's team is sixth nationally in total defense, and last year's team ranked eighth. His 2014 defense at Mississippi State was the best in the country in the red zone, and he was a finalist for the Broyles Award aas the country's top assistant coach at Florida International in 2010. 

His Florida recruiting ties will help him with the Owls. Temple has 11 Florida natives on its roster, including Jefferson High product Ventell Bryant and Plant City's Jyquis Thomas. 

UF might not have to look far for his replacement. Linebackers coach Randy Shannon is the team's associate heaad coach and co-coordinator. He previously served as Miami's head coach from 2007-10. 

McElwain said Shannon is in the mix, and he hopes to announce the Gators' plan moving forward next week.

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 11:58am]

    

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