Roughly 24 hours after reports surfaced that Charlie Strong and Kerwin Bell would join the University of Florida in analyst roles, the Tampa Bay Times has learned those reports are at least partially true.
Bell, the legendary former Gators quarterback whose complex, pro-style offense never clicked in his lone season as USF’s coordinator, could be headed back to Gainesville. Though his hiring is far from a slam dunk at this stage, the Gators athletics hall of famer is among a number of candidates in consideration for the gig.
Strong, meantime, still was contemplating the move as of Thursday morning.
Analysts, who assist with game plans but are limited in terms of on-field coaching activities, have become prevalent on college support staffs in the last decade. Last season, former Bulls coach Jim Leavitt joined FSU’s staff in an advisory role before being promoted to a full-time assistant following Willie Taggart’s dismissal.
Bell, the one-time walk-on who evolved into the 1984 SEC Player of the Year, began his coaching career in Gainesville as a graduate-assistant for Steve Spurrier in 1990.
Strong, dismissed in early December after going 21-16 in three seasons at USF, enjoyed his greatest coaching glory in Gainesville. His four separate stints as a Gators assistant included serving as defensive coordinator for Urban Meyer’s two national title teams in 2006 and 2008.