Gators hire Jeff Choate as special teams/outside linebackers coach
Jeff Choate, a 21-year coaching veteran, has been hired as Florida's special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.
Choate was the linebackers coach at Washington State in 2012, and was serving as defensive coordinator at UTEP this past spring. Choate has nine years' experience coaching special teams.
Before Washington State, Choate spent six seasons coaching special teams at Boise State where he served on the same staff with current Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease.
“We are excited to have Jeff Choate join our staff,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said. “He is a high-energy coach, an outstanding recruiter and evaluator, and has a reputation as one of the top special-teams coaches in the nation. He has coached on both sides of the ball and was most recently a defensive coordinator. He sees the big picture and will be a great addition to our staff."
Muschamp said he developed a relationship with Choate several years ago while he was at Texas and Choate at Boise State. He said Choate visited Austin and the two talked defensive and special teams schemes, and he also visited Muschamp in Gainesville last spring.
Last season, Choate coached three linebackers to All-Pac 12 honorable mention honors (senior Travis Long, sophomore Cyrus Coen and freshman Darryl Monroe). Washington State ranked eighth in the nation in tackles for losses (7.7 avg.) and 11th in sacks (2.9 avg.) in the one season he coached there.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to join the Gator staff and have the chance to compete at the highest level,” Choate said. “I’ve gotten to know Coach Muschamp over the past couple of years and have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a coach and a person. I’m looking forward to continuing the great special-teams tradition that has been established here and can’t wait to get to work."