Florida promotes analyst Garrick McGee to QB coach after Brian Johnson departs for NFL

By Adam Silverstein
January 27, 2021
Florida promotes analyst Garrick McGee to QB coach after Brian Johnson departs for NFL

Image Credit: @GatorsFB / Twitter

It did not take head coach Dan Mullen long to fill the sudden vacancy on his Florida Gators coaching staff. Mullen has decided to elevate defensive analyst Garrick McGee to quarterbacks coach.

McGee, who joined Florida as an analyst ahead of the 2020 season, was previously the head coach at UAB (2012-13). He has also served as an offensive coordinator at Northwestern (2006-07), Arkansas (2010-11), Louisville (2014-15) and Illinois (2016-17), coaching quarterbacks at each stop.

“Garrick brings a wealth of knowledge to our offensive room,” Mullen said in a statement released by the program. “His track record for developing quarterbacks and explosive offenses will fit nicely with what we do.”

Though this is a decisive move by Mullen, it is a wholly unspectacular one for the Gators, which are replacing an offensive coordinator with a position coach.

It is expected that Mullen will move passing game coordinator Billy Gonzales (wide receivers coach) and running game coordinator John Hevesy (offensive line coach) back into the co-offensive coordinator role they held prior to the ascension of Brian Johnson, who left Florida for a QB coach job with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

Johnson, the first Black offensive coordinator in program history, was also the Gators’ top recruiter among their assistants. McGee, 14 years Johnson’s senior at age 47, brings no prominent recruiting chops nor any notable acumen developing the QB position despite being tasked with doing so at a variety of mid-tier Power Five programs over the course of his career. He is known as a coach fluent in various passing game concepts.

Mullen has now replaced three assistants this offseason. Rather than fire embattled defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, he pushed both secondary coaches out the door in an effort to repair the defense. Wesley McGriff (safeties) and Jules Montinar (cornerbacks, recruiting coordinator) are those replacements, and while both appear to be solid hires, they similarly lack name recognition or recruiting punch one might have expected with replacement assistants.

McGee was originally hired due to his relationship with Grantham, who coordinated defense at Louisville while McGee led the Cardinals offense. Florida also has former QB Kerwin Bell on staff as an offensive analyst.

While Nick Saban is replacing his departed assistants with former NFL head coaches in Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone (along with a top 50 recruiter in Jay Graham), Mullen hired a free agent safeties coach, brought up a seemingly unremarkable South Florida assistant and elevated a veteran coach who has worked as a low-paid analyst over two of the last three seasons.

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