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Gators try new coach on defense

Published Oct. 6, 2005

Frustrated by his team's porous pass defense, Florida football coach Steve Spurrier said in January he likely would make changes on his defensive staff. Thursday, those changes became reality as Bobby Pruett joined the Gators' staff as defensive coordinator.

Pruett, who has been defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Tulane the past two seasons, interviewed Tuesday and Wednesday with Spurrier.

The Gators ranked last in the Southeastern Conference in passing defense the past two seasons. Pruett said Spurrier talked to him about his concerns. But Pruett said he doesn't know what changes he will make.

"I don't know exactly what will change," Pruett said. "We'll come in and look at everything. We'll make the adjustments we need to make."

While UF has run an eight-man front on defense, Pruett has coached a defense with three defensive linemen, two standup outside linebackers, two inside linebackers and four defensive backs.

Last year's defensive tackles coach, Jerry "Red" Anderson, will be reassigned to a position within the athletic association. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said last year's defensive coordinator, Ron Zook, will remain with the Gators in a capacity to be determined next week.

"Coach Spurrier talked to him, and Coach Zook is proud that he is here," Foley said. "He wants to work here."