Florida to hire Jules Montinar as defensive assistant, filling last coaching spot, per reports

By Adam Silverstein
January 22, 2021
Florida to hire Jules Montinar as defensive assistant, filling last coaching spot, per reports

Image Credit: @GatorsFB / Twitter

After firing both secondary coaches following one of the worst defensive seasons in program history, Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen is set to fill his lone remaining vacancy. Mullen will hire South Florida cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator Jules Montinar to take that remaining spot, according to FootballScoop.com and 247Sports.

Montinar, a Florida native who played defensive back at West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, only spent one year on the Bulls staff. He previously serviced as a defensive quality assistant at Georgia (2019), cornerbacks coach (2016-17) and special teams coordinator (2018) at Texas State with prior stops at James Madison (2014-15), Alabama (2012-13), Purdue (2011), Lake Erie College (2010) and Eastern Kentucky (2008-09). He was a graduate assistant for the Boilermakers and Crimson Tide.

Though Montinar does not bring an exceptional on-field coaching resume, he is regarded as an strong recruiter.

This hire is certainly a head-scratcher for the Gators, which fired two veteran assistants after a disappointing 2020 season and appeared ready to hire a top-tier, veteran defensive coach potentially in a co-defensive coordinator role alongside embattled assistant Todd Grantham.

While former Auburn defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff was indeed a significant addition to the staff, coaches such as ex-South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson, ex-Texas defensive coordinator Chris Ash and ex-Alabama defensive analyst Charlie Strong were all reportedly on a short list. Strong was previously the head coach at Texas and USF; Ash was the former head coach at Rutgers. Both Strong and Robinson are former Florida assistant coaches with Strong serving a long tenure as defensive coordinator.

Yet, Robinson took a job coaching defensive backs for Miami instead, while Ash and Strong both joined ex-Florida coach Urban Meyer as position coaches with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

At a time when Alabama head coach Nick Saban is filling staff vacancies with former NFL head coaches in Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone, the Gators and Mullen apparently struggled to bring in top candidates for their jobs. Florida did, however, retain linebackers coach Christian Robinson, who flirted with leaving for Michigan.

In the end, Gators fans are unlikely to be thrilled with these position coach hirings as Florida will enter 2021 with Grantham still serving as the team’s lone defensive coordinator. Perhaps McGriff and Montinar will beef up recruiting in a significant manner, but with the 2021 cycle over in two weeks, that impact won’t be known for at least a season if the defensive staff makes it that long given the on-field results last season.

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