GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Much has been made about new Florida football coach Dan Mullen’s tight-knit, loyal offensive coaching staff.
He’s worked with co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach John Hevesy since they both joined Urban Meyer’s staff at Bowling Green in 2001. He’s worked with co-OC and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales for most of that same period as well. He was with running backs coach Greg Knox the last nine seasons at Mississippi State. And he coached and has twice hired quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson.
The only newcomer to that mix on the offensive side is Larry Scott, who was the final hire of Mullen’s first Florida coaching staff.
Hevesy has joked that sometimes the longtime colleagues will reach conclusions in offensive meetings without having to even say all that much.
That may take some getting used to for Scott, the offensive coordinator at Tennessee last year and a former interim coach at Miami, but he said he appreciates the opportunity to join such a close coaching staff.
“Well, the one thing you note being in this business as long as I have, and the staffs and the number of people that have come and gone and all those different things, you really have a certain level of respect and admiration for people that have been able to do it at this level together this long,” Scott said. “It speaks to some of the things that are core principles about why you even got into coaching, which is just loyalty, the ability to check your ego at the door and work together for a common goal.
“And when people can do that and have the success they’ve had for such a long period of time, it’s a rare thing that you see in this business these days, so why not want to attach yourself to something like that if you can and if you fit? Because obviously they’re not going to let just anybody into the door.”
WATCH: Florida tight ends coach Larry Scott meets with media
Posted by Florida Gators – SEC Country on Thursday, February 22, 2018
Mullen initially retained holdover Ja’Juan Seider on his staff, reassigning the former running backs coach to the tight ends spot. Seider quickly found another opportunity to do what he does best at Penn State.
And it didn’t take long for Mullen to move on as well, hiring Scott, who was available after Tennessee’s staff changeover. Scott coached the Vols’ tight ends the last two seasons in addition to taking on the OC role last fall.
He got his coaching start at USF and also spent three seasons at Miami, going 4-2 as the Hurricanes’ interim coach to finish out the 2015 season.
“[The phone call] came, I pick it up and it’s ‘Hi, this is Dan Mullen.’ Oh, interesting, this could turn into a good call,” Scott recalled of how this opportunity came about. “And we talked a little bit about some things and obviously he was doing some background checks on me. A couple of people that I know and have a lot of respect for in the business reached out to me about this opportunity, and then we talked another time and I had a chance to come up and actually sit and talk with him face to face, and that was important for me as well as much as it was for him.”
Scott liked what he heard and he’s liked what he’s seen so far as the newcomer on the staff.
“Great genuine people. They love what they do, they love kids, they love the development and the process of what it takes to develop young people, good players and good people,” Scott said. “So obviously something you want to be a part of, especially if those are the reasons and the core principles of why you got into coaching. And those certainly were for me, and where I am right now in my career and what I want to be a part of, and so it’s been awesome to be around those guys and that kind of deal.”
Meanwhile, Scott is still getting to know the players he’ll be working with at Florida.
He’s already said he expects his position group to be a big part of the offense under Mullen, which it wasn’t in recent years.
He recruited 4-star Class of 2017 prospect Kemore Gamble when he was at Miami, getting Gamble to commit to the Hurricanes before he flipped to Florida. But the rest of the group he’ll get a better sense for when spring practice starts next month.
“The process of really digging into what motivates these guys, what are their reasons for playing football, why they do what they do, why are they here, how did they get here, what’s their background and all of those things, that takes time,” Scott said. “Especially to really get to the core of a person and of a player to really get the best out of them that you want, that’s going to take some time.”
As for his own background, he’s been an interim coach and he’s been an SEC offensive coordinator.
Scott said that stint at Miami, taking the reins over the second half of the 2015 season, was particularly valuable. It gave him a new perspective on the responsibilities of the head coach and how important it is for every assistant to do his part and be an expert in his area to make the whole operation run smoother.
That’s what he said he’ll take from his past experiences and apply now at Florida.
“Understand the defined role that’s laid out for you. Be an expert at it. Be the very best that you can, because that piece, no matter how big or how small, is not unimportant to the program,” he said. “And no one’s bigger than the program, but your piece and your role is critical to the development of the overall program. That’s the perspective it gave me.
“So when you can do that and be the very best that you can be at your role, you give yourself a chance to win and win at a high level.”
The post TEs coach Larry Scott the newcomer to Florida’s tight-knit offensive staff appeared first on SEC Country.