Florida hires Sean Spencer as co-defensive coordinator, completing Billy Napier’s coaching staff

By Adam Silverstein
January 15, 2022
Florida hires Sean Spencer as co-defensive coordinator, completing Billy Napier’s coaching staff
Football

Image Credit: GatorsFB / Twitter

The Florida Gators have hired Sean Spencer as the program’s co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, the program announced Thursday. Spencer spent the last two seasons coaching the line for the NFL’s New York Giants and was previously expected to take a co-defensive coordinator position with Duke in 2022 before being snatched away by Florida.

A long-time assistant at Penn State under head coach James Franklin, Spencer led the defensive line from 2014-19, adding the role of associate head coach over his final two seasons with the Nittany Lions. Prior to that, he coached the position for Vanderbilt (2011-13), also under Franklin, and Bowling Green (2009-10) as part of an on-field coaching career that goes back to 1995.

Among the star prospects Spencer recruited while at Penn State were Micah Parsons and Saquon Barkley, arguably the two best players the team’s produced over the last several years.

Spencer, nicknamed “Coach Chaos”, was originally going to serve as co-defensive coordinator at Duke under new head coach Mike Elko after leaving New York, according to multiple reports, but appears to have changed course. Elko himself has emerged as one of the top defensive coaches in the country over the last few seasons, so he certainly has an eye for talent.

Though he does not appear to have prior experience alongside Gators head coach Billy Napier, Spencer was on the same Giants staff this season as new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Rob Sale, a long-time Napier assistant and colleague.

Florida now has all 10 of its on-field assistant spots filled. Co-defensive coordinator Patrick Toney is slated to lead the safeties and call the defensive plays.

There is no indication that the Gators will have an on-field coach dedicated to special teams. Those responsibilities will likely be handled by a quality control assistant or analyst. Chris Couch is expected to join the Gators in such a capacity, according to FootballScoop’s John Brice. Only seven of 65 Power Five teams operated without an on-field special teams coach during the 2021 season.

2022 Florida Gators coaching staff

Head coach: Billy Napier

Offensive coordinator / offensive line: Rob Sale
Asst. offensive line: Darnell Stapleton
Running backs: Jabbar Juluke
Wide receivers: Keary Colbert
Tight ends: William Peagler

Co-defensive coordinator / safeties: Patrick Toney
Co-defensive coordinator / defensive line: Sean Spencer
Cornerbacks: Corey Raymond
Outside linebackers: Mike Peterson
Inside linebackers: Jay Bateman

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