Sunday, May 20, 2018
Colleges

Gators fire offensive coordinator Brent Pease, offensive line coach Tim Davis

One day after acknowledging that the Gators needed fundamental changes in their offense, Florida has fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

"I have a lot of respect for Coach Pease and Coach Davis,'' Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "They are both good football coaches and even better people. There have been a lot of unfortunate circumstances this year, but that is part of the game sometimes. I want to thank each of them for their contributions to the program both on and off the field."

Pease, 49, was hired in January 2012 after six years at Boise State, the last as offensive coordinator, to replace Charlie Weis, who left to become head coach at Kansas. Florida finished the regular season 4-8 and was ranked No. 112 nationally in scoring offense and No. 114 total offense.

Florida will now begin a search for its third offensive coordinator in four years.

Davis, 55, spent two seasons with the Gators after serving as offensive line coach at Utah in 2011. Florida gave up 56 sacks over the past two seasons.

After Saturday's 37-7 loss to Florida State, Muschamp said he had not made any final decisions on staff changes, but that the Gators needed a fundamental change in philosophy going forward on offense.

"We need to take a look at ourselves schematically with what we're doing," he said. "There have been some things that have happened that are very difficult to overcome, but schematically, there's no question we need to take a look at ourselves."

Last week, Pease said he felt he had earned the right to be retained, noting the multiple injuries to the Gators' offense including starting QB Jeff Driskel. By season's end, the Gators were playing with third-team QB Skyler Mornhinweg.

However, Pease said, he knows winning is the bottom line and he would understand if the Gators decided to go in a different direction.

"I know we came up short of our ultimate goal, but I will carry on knowing I gained valuable friendships and relationships during my time here," Pease said Sunday in a statement.

He is entitled to about $1.2 million on the final two years of his contract.

Following the Gators' Nov. 23 loss to Georgia Southern, Muschamp said the Gators' offensive woes had started to affect the defensive performance. Under Pease, the Gators never scored more than 44 points in a game, and scored more than 30 in just seven of 25 games with Pease as offensive coordinator. The Gators did not score more than 23 points on offense in the final nine games of the 2013 season.

Despite their professed admiration of Pease and Davis, after Saturday's loss to FSU even the Gators' players seemed convinced that change had to be made.

"Right now, whatever they do hopefully is changed for the best," DL Jon Bullard said. "Give us 21 (points) a game. If they can do that, then I would put the blame on us if they (opponents) score 21 points or over. Hopefully change for the better, because what we're doing right now just ain't working."

Added OL Max Garcia: "It's just kind of like we need to do something different. . . We need to make a change."

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