Muschamp tabs Quinn as defensive coordinator

By Adam Silverstein
January 3, 2011

New Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp claimed during his introductory press conference that he wanted to run a pro-style offense and defense. He has completely set that in motion by officially hiring Seattle Seahawks assistant head coach and defensive line coach Dan Quinn as his defensive coordinator.

Quinn, who has coached in the NFL since 2001 including stints with the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, began his career at William & Mary in 1994. He moved on to Virginia Military Institute (1995) and then Hofstra (1996-2000) before deciding to go to the NFL. Quinn served as Hofstra’s defensive coordinator in 2000.

He will remain with his current team through the NFL Playoffs.

When Muschamp was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Dolphins under head coach Nick Saban in 2005, Quinn served as his defensive line coach. That year Miami ranked 15th in total defense (19.8 points and 317.4 yards per game) but was second in quarterback sacks (49).

“Dan and I worked on the Miami Dolphins’ staff together and he is one of the best I’ve been around in terms of teaching fundamentals,” Muschamp said on Monday. “He understands how defenses will need to be multiple and how to put players in a position to be successful. The Seattle organization has been great in coordinating the hiring of Dan to our staff and we wish them the best of luck in the playoffs.”

Muschamp is expected to be heavily involved in Florida’s defense. It is currently unknown whether Quinn will coach the defensive line himself.

“He’s a high-energy guy, and he brings that to the field for practice. And we can feed off that, because he’s ready to go everyday. He’s very involved. He’s just relentless,” Seattle’s seven-year veteran defensive tackle Craig Terrill said of Quinn in 2009.

The Gators still have one open position on the coaching staff (responsibilities to be determined) to reach the NCAA limit of nine assistants.

Kelby Collins (70)
Aidan Mizell (72)
Eugene Wilson (140)
Will Norman (143)
TJ Searcy (159)
Ja'Keem Jackson (168)
Kamran James (188)
Treyaun Webb (200)
Jordan Castell (202)
Isaiah Nixon (205)
Sharif Denson (213)
Gavin Hill (261)
Aaron Gates
Knijeah Harris
Andy Jean
Jaden Robinson
Marcus Stokes
Creed Whittemore
Bryce Lovett
Tyree Patterson

*McCarney was also assistant head coach; Heater held the role of co-defensive coordinator. Muschamp has not named an assistant (or associate) head coach as of press time.

Photo Credit: Otto Greule, Jr./Getty Images


  1. g8ter27 says:

    This sounds good but i am hoping for an ealry exit for both the Seahawks and Chiefs so we have SOMEBODY on the road recruiting. If these two teams met in the superbol…which they won’t we would have nobody else in our class this year i am afraid.

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Another good hire by Foley. He doing one hell of a job so far IMO.

  3. Swampbabe says:

    Nicely done Coach MusChomp and Mr. Foley! Now let’s get out
    on the trail and sign us up some pro-style NFL caliber talent to
    coach up!

  4. Swampbabe says:

    Cell phones and NFL resumes will still go a long way, but
    yeah, I’m with you there on the early exit. A guy with four super
    bowl wings sitting in your living room is MUCH more impressive than
    a phone call.

  5. SaraGator says:

    Wow, Coach Boom has been busy! Btw, does anybody know if he minds being called Coach Boom???

    I like the fact that he keeps everything under wraps until it was official. It shows his maturity for such a young coach. I also like that he’s trying to build a professional atmosphere.

  6. John S says:

    I admittedly don’t know a lot about NFL assistants, but I hope these guys can recruit. It looks like we’re going for professional toughness, which this team could really use. I hope they can get to work immediately to keep our current team together. With the poor class we have coming, we cannot afford to lose more guys from the 2010 class. Bringing in last minute 3 stars (maybe 2 stars) will not offset the loss of last years 4 and 5 star talent that already has a season under their belts.

  7. gator347 says:

    John S – Don’t be so sure on those 4 & 5 star
    losses. These are Kids. If these guys can just get the players to
    execute we’ll have 10 plus wins. The Stars will come if they think
    they can make it to the next level.

  8. Daniel M. says:

    Lotta NFL experience on that chart. I like it.

  9. Reimlaw says:

    Poor class we have coming????? Are you serious??? I
    wouldn’t consider a class that has Driskel, Blakely and Leonard as
    “poor”. We’re sitting a 18 (rivals) and 20 (scout) and that’s only
    with the 15 recruits we have right now. We just had a dead period
    where they can’t recruit. The coaches will have 5 weeks to get
    their recruiting mojo going and secure some of these top kids who
    have yet to commit and to sway some who may be committed. We’ll be
    just fine come signing day. GO GATORS!

  10. Andrew says:

    5 stars dont mean anything. Recruiting services aren’t a
    scientifically calibrated device. Get some hard working players
    that can improve.

  11. Mr2Bits says:

    @John : Why do you think we are losing players? I know
    nobody who wants to transfer except for Brantley and I will help
    him pack if need be.

  12. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    I wouldn’t say 5 stars don’t mean anything…you’d be hard
    pressed to find a national champion lately who didn’t have a few on
    their team…lets see in 2006 we got Tebow, Spikes &
    Percy…I’d say they played significant roles in our two
    NC’s….Bama had Julio Jones and Trent Richardson…..Auburn has
    Cam Newton and Dywer….LSU in between those NC’s had several 5
    stars including Doucet, Perrilou & Vincent

  13. mARK01 says:


    I agree. The class isn’t poor, but as it stands now. It is definitely a step down from what we have gotten used to

  14. mARK01 says:


    You are completely correct. The recruiting services have gotten pretty good.

    While nothing is a certainty. 5 star recruits have a much better chance of being productive college players and becoming NFL players then a 3 or 4 star recruit.

    I wish I could find the article that backs up this statement, but no luck

  15. Wingtee says:

    Scott Loffler wkl remain on staff…just wanted
    to add a little scoop Adam to let you
    know I have a clue .

  16. 305gator says:

    so Quinn coached 27th ranked defense in the nfl……eh. Muschamp can take over that too if he needs to i suppose.

  17. John S says:

    I’m being elitist saying a top 20 class is poor, but given our history and I assume shared expectations, it’s not what I was expecting. So far our competition has much better talent coming in, and based on last years results also have better teams (FSU, Bama, Gamecocks, LSU, Auburn). We’ve lost most of the top of our class, and Story is apparently on the fence. There aren’t a lot of 4 and 5 stars hanging out there to grab, and most other teams are in just as good a position to nab them with existing relationships. Reportedly there has been significant discontent this year in the freshmen class, as well as frustration by a couple sophmores, mostly receivers. Transfers are common after coaching changes, there’s rumors about Elam and he was our best freshmen (just rumors not news).

    Look I hope like hell I’m worrying for nothing, but if you look at your wall of Gator paraphernalia there aren’t many 3 stars staring back at you. Until Muschamp lands a recruit I will continue to be skeptical. Texas gets what Texas gets every year. The team Mushchamp spoke about in his opening statement sounded nothing like our current team, there are just too many unknowns. This year taught me to adjust expectations, I guess I should in recruiting as well. Sorry to be so negative, I’m just venting.

  18. Alex says:

    If you follow Elam on Twitter – he seems pretty juiced up
    for next season to start, excited to be in Gville, etc.

  19. Scooterp says:

    John S – just stop with the belly aching already. Muschamp
    had like 9 days before the dead period to get acclimated. He hasn’t
    even moved into his office yet and your already freak’n out. What
    do you expect when a legend who has been the key reason these
    recruits verbally commit decides to retire unexpectedly. Let
    January play out and see what happens on NSD.

  20. GG says:

    The downside with most 5 star guys is they leave early, at
    least at Florida. Tebow And Spikes the main exceptions. Is Easley
    transferring? Whats the problem with Debose? Did he play any
    offense against PS?

  21. John S says:

    @Alex, I don’t follow Elam on Twitter but I have read he’s
    excited. I was referring to the rumors that several teams made
    contact with him in mid December. I would love for us to avoid
    transfers, I just think it will be hard as our guys will come back
    from Christmas break and they still won’t have coordinators till
    next week at the earliest. I was just hoping that we’d pull a guy
    like Smart (granted unlikely) or similar at Texas that would have
    some existing recruiting relationships we could use. Instead our OC
    and DC will have four weeks to get to know these guys, which means
    no new names on the board. Again I hope my concerns are unfounded,
    and Foley knows these guys way better than I do. Go Gators

  22. Swampbabe says:

    John S – I am not skeptical of Muschamp’s ability, but like
    you I am VERY concerned about where we are now and where we need to
    be, especially when you look at what’s left out there. I cannot
    ever remember a year in the last ten when I could look at the
    Scouts, Rivals and ESPN’s top prospects and not seeing Florida
    listed anywhere. Top FLorida prospects all going elsewhere in the
    SEC. Bad enough to not get them, really bad when you have to play
    the teams that DO. Ask FSU and Miami what happens when the top
    talent goes elsewhere. IMO there is VERY REAL reason to be
    concenred about this year’s clsss as I believe the only way to save
    it would be to steal some big dogs and I’m not sure we have the
    street cred to do it after this year and all these

  23. John S. says:

    @ScooterP I hope he’s got a plan and everything works out
    in January. Recruiting is a two year process now, and we’ve got
    four weeks and zero momentum. Sorry for the belly aching/voicing a
    rational concern on a message board, but for now we’re getting beat
    in the only game we’re playing, recruiting. Maybe we’ve got
    something for the fourth quarter.

  24. Daniel M. says:

    Geez people, come down off the cliff. Seriously. At least wait until the end of January before you throw in the towel on this class.

  25. joe says:

    The last spot is for Smart who would coach Safeties. He is waiting to see if UGA cans Richt. We should know soon.

  26. jay d says:

    This class will possibly make the gators in 2011-2012 but it deffinetly will not break the gators in 2011-2012. Regaurdless of our recruiting ranking…the coaches will come out balls to the wall….and offset any recruiting misfortunes we get hit with…

  27. Gatorguy11 says:

    When is the dead period in recruiting over?

  28. Mr2Bits says:

    @Swampbabe : You can thank the Dazz and our former coaching
    staff for setting up one way flights for top recruits to go
    elsewhere this year. If not for being a die hard, I would have
    stopped watching most games at half this year which is what most
    recruits did when visiting the swamp. I could only imagine what our
    recruits are thinking during this whole years coaching mess. Just
    imagine if you are a WR or offensive player and you see the
    coaching staff running Brantley out there every 3rd and 7 only to
    throw two yard hitches or fling the ball 10 feet over your head so
    you get a rib shot every time. Definitely not a place I’d want to
    go if I was top of my class. In the end, we will have a top ten
    class. Everyone needs to step back from the ledge here. We aren’t
    going to lose a bunch of talent either. I do think we would have
    seen some transfers had the coaching staff not been shaken up
    though. Think Muschamp and company bring hope to allot of our
    players. Lets just hope that can spread in the next month.

  29. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    I agree some need to get off the ledge….rankings are important and sure I’d love to have a top 5 class every year but coaching is more important as long as you have decent talent…look at Stanford last night…they barely make it into the top 20 in rankings but that is one good football team….and Auburn for crying out loud had two poor classes in ’08 & ’09 but with only one highly ranked class in ’10 and are now playing for the big prize….yes the more 4 & 5 star recruits you have the more it allows for injuries, transfers & busts but even with loads of talent this year we had an average year because our coaching took a major step back

  30. It'sG82BAFlaGator says:

    Don’t forget last year’s class. Tops of all time? There only going to be Sophomores/RS Freshman with coaches that have both NFL and College experience, the players will be coached up and ready to go. GO GATORS

  31. It'sG82BAFlaGator says:

    We will need work with our line and qb situation. We have
    depth at WR, elite return game with Rainey/Debose. Janoris Jenkins,
    Hill, Hicks, Trattou, Lemmens, Jones, and Black are gone off D
    (Maybe Howard, but I doubt). Cody Riggs will fill JJ’s spot, Easley
    takes Lemmens/Trattou’s spot. Shariff stays at DT, Powell takes
    over for Hicks/Jones. D-Line. DT’s – Shariff Flloyd, Chris Martin
    (If Jernigan doesn’t commit or if he does and doesn’t beat Martin
    out), DE’s – Jaye Howard, (hopefully) Dominique Easley. LB’s MLB
    Jelani Jenkins/Bostic. OLB’s Powell, Anthony? Secondary- CB’s –
    Cody Riggs, Moses Jenkins?, Jeremy Brown?, Joshua Shaw? Safties –
    Matt Elam, A safety commit from this class? Oline, i can really
    only see Nixon, Silberman, Robey, Harrison, and Hallapio? but i
    listed 3 tackles 1 guard and a center, maybe chaz green as a guard?
    Qb’s – I personally hope Driskel, but probably Brantley given he
    doesn’t transfer. RB’s – Demps, Brown, Blakely Wr’s – Dunkley,
    Debose, Alli, Story?, Thompson, Mccroy, So we have players from
    last year, we just need to settle down and see what WM does with
    this team. CHOMP CHOMP!

  32. It'sG82BAFlaGator says:

    Adam, do you have any news one Jabari Gordman? Like, where
    he’s leaning too? Expected to go? Thanks!

  33. Wingtee says:

    Last years
    class is not what it was on sig ing day. So best of
    all time ? No

  34. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    When you see the players listed out you really worry about depth at LB, DL & OL if injuries hit at all

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