FOUR BITS: What happens to Chuck Heater?

By Adam Silverstein
January 8, 2010

1 » Hiring George Edwards as the Florida Gators defensive coordinator may or may not determine current assistant defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chuck Heater‘s future with the team. Will Heater share the role with Edwards, take on other responsibilities with the team, have his job remain the same or even leave for another opportunity? Right now, Gator Nation does not know. What is apparent is that Heater openly campaigned for the defensive coordinator position prior to the 2010 Sugar Bowl. “I’m interested in having a leadership role, whatever it might be,” Heater said in December. He reportedly turned down an offer to join Doc Holliday‘s Marshall Thundering Herd staff as defensive coordinator – does that become a more attractive option for the 33-year coaching veteran?

2 » Losing four assistant coaches (and one graduate assistant) after the 2009 SEC Championship, head coach Urban Meyer has replaced all of them post-haste. Even so, his cornerbacks coach position apparently remains vacant and additional coaching turnover in Heater and/or assistant head coach and defense/defensive line coach Dan McCarney (whose name has popped up as a candidate for the recently available head job with the USF Bulls) may very well occur. Perhaps McCarney would even take Heater as his defensive coordinator? There is still a ways to go before this situation is settled.

3 » Florida women’s basketball (9-6, 2-0 SEC) turned in a thrilling 71-68 double-overtime victory against the Auburn Tigers (9-6, 0-2 SEC) Thursday evening in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Senior guard Steffi Sorensen began the second overtime without a point in the contest but drained three treys to lift her team to victory. The Gators led by 20 points in the first half but gave up the lead in the second half as the Tigers won the rebound (58-46) and turnover (22-15) battles. Sophomore center Azania Stewart led Florida with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

4 » Football has the Swamp Things, basketball has the Rowdy Reptiles, but baseball’s student section remains unnamed – until now. The baseball team is set to throw its first pitch of the 2010 season in just over a month’s time, and the University of Florida is looking to the student body for suggestions on what to name McKethan Stadium’s student section. The winning entry will receive a baseball autographed by head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, Nike Gators gear and the opportunity to throw out a first pitch before a game this season. Submissions are being accepted through Jan. 15 with the voting lasting from Jan. 19-22. An announcement will be made on Jan. 25. Only students are able to apply – visit for more information.


  1. Kaveh0915 says:

    Isn’t this what caused Billy Gonzalez to leave for LSU? While I’m sure Edwards is a great coach, I’m a little disappointed because Heater has been a great recruiter and safeties have been a real position of strength for us the last 5 years.

  2. Any time you have two assistants on your staff who feel they deserve a promotion and one gets passed over, the other is going to get angry – especially if they are young and impatient. The difference with Heater is that he has been coaching for 33 years and loves his job with Florida. He could still leave should an opportunity (like the two mentioned above) present themselves, but I do not equate it to the same situation as Gonzales.

  3. O-town Gator says:

    Knowing that Dan McCarney was a head coach in the past (Iowa State) in addition to his experience working under Urban Meyer, it makes him an attractive candidate for future head coaching vacancies.

    If indeed the Leavitt firing at USF is official, his name will definitely be thrown in the ring of candidates. Regarding Leavitt, IMO I saw this firing coming; he would have been one of the 5 coaches along with Ron Zook and Dan Hawkins included in my “2010 Hot Seat”.

  4. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    Good point….our DB and Safety talent has been off the charts and I would hate to lose Heater

  5. It would be difficult to lose Heater. Meyer may make him secondary coach (giving him added responsibilities) while keeping him as assistant defensive coordinator – that could be an acceptable resolution for him.

  6. Mr2Bits says:

    Meyer won’t let Heater leave. He will do what it takes to keep him. Also just heard that Meyer has postponed his LOA. Hard to bite the hand that feeds I guess.

    As for baseball, I’m not a student anymore so I can’t enter but I do attend quite a few Rays games. I think naming the student section something rowdy or wild is kind of a stretch. Baseball is the last sport that keeps people wild and screaming. The next thing you know UF will be wanting to have a catchy name for the Golf teams fans.

  7. upsetUFgolfer says:

    Mr2bits– whats wrong with having a catchy name for our fans?

  8. Aligator says:

    I can see now that he would be the Co-Defensive/DB coach and that is a lot of responsibility. UM may also make him the RC? UM has a lot of time in service guys on his staff now and he has to keep them happy. It is looking more and more like he can start to delegate a bit and still kick everyone’s teeth in.

  9. TraderToms says:

    Amazing, an accurate sportswriter who actually works more than 4 hours per week…–Thank you Adam, I will be here often til signing day and hope to peruse your archives back to the start of this season of the “wasted talent.”

  10. Mr2Bits says:

    UpsetGolfer : Sorry maybe you can be called Tee’dOff or BallsDeep Bashers(hey that might work for baseball as well.

  11. O-town Gator says:

    From a retention POV, it was a smart move to make Heater the co-DC. That tells me that Meyer really values his presence on his staff – now that Billy Gonzales is gone, I wonder if he’ll re-assume the role of recruiting coordinator?

  12. TraderToms- You are welcome. Glad you are enjoying the site.

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