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Gators promote analyst to quarterbacks coach

Garrick McGee fills the void for Florida left by Brian Johnson going to the NFL’s Eagles.
In this Sept. 21, 2013, file photo, UAB coach Garrick McGee looks on during a game against Northwestern State at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Florida promoted McGee from analyst to quarterbacks coach on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.
In this Sept. 21, 2013, file photo, UAB coach Garrick McGee looks on during a game against Northwestern State at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. Florida promoted McGee from analyst to quarterbacks coach on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. [ MARK ALMOND | AP ]
Published Jan. 29
Updated Jan. 29

GAINESVILLE — Florida promoted Garrick McGee from analyst to quarterbacks coach Friday, filling a vacancy created by Brian Johnson’s departure to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

McGee, 47, spent the 2020 season working behind the scenes for the Gators after a two-year stint at Missouri. The former Alabama-Birmingham head coach has bounced from job to job for most of the past decade.

His resume includes stops at Illinois (2016-17), Louisville (2014-15), UAB (2012-13), Arkansas (2008-11), Northwestern (2004-07), UNLV (2003), Toledo (2002) and Northern Iowa (1999). He also worked as a quality control coach for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars (2000-01).

“Garrick brings a wealth of knowledge to our offensive room,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said. “His track record for developing quarterbacks and explosive offenses will fit nicely with what we do.”

It’s unclear who will serve as the Gators’ offensive coordinator, the title Johnson held last season. Johnson, the first Black offensive coordinator in school history, left the program earlier this week to become the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach under newly hired Nick Sirianni. Johnson also recently interviewed for head-coaching jobs at South Carolina and Boise State.

Even though Johnson held that title at Florida, Mullen was the primary play-caller.

Johnson, though, drew rave reviews for helping develop quarterback Kyle Trask, who broke school records for touchdown passes (43) and passing yards (4,283) and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting.

McGee’s background includes working with Lamar Jackson early in his college career. Louisville averaged 28.7 points and 416 yards in 2015, a year after the Cardinals scored 30 or more points eight times and passed for 3,276 yards with McGee as offensive coordinator under coach Bobby Petrino.

McGee takes over a position group that includes expected starter Emory Jones, backup Anthony Richardson and and a pair of freshmen: Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and Jalen Kitna, the son of former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna.

Jones has seven TD passes, six rushing scores and an interception in three seasons off the bench.

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By MARK LONG