Posted: 1:41 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6, 2014
By Andy Hutchins
After being linked to Lane Kiffin and Clay Helton, Florida finally pulls a coach from USC in Mike Summers.
Florida has hired USC offensive line coach Mike Summers for the same position at Florida, the school announced through GatorZone on Monday afternoon.
"I’m excited to have Coach Summers join our staff," said Muschamp. "He has 34 years of experience, has been an offensive coordinator for 15 years and has coached in the SEC. He has a diverse background and has experience in the NFL. He will be a great addition to our staff."
"I’m honored to be joining Coach Muschamp and his staff," said Summers. "I have the utmost respect for Coach Muschamp, the staff and the support system in place. Having been in the SEC I have always held the Florida program in high regard and I’m looking forward to getting right to work."
Coaching Search reported Sunday that Summers had interviewed for the position. A source told Alligator Army that Summers interviewed for the position in Gainesville on Sunday.
The watchword with Summers is likely to be experience, which appears twice in Muschamp's statement on his hiring. He has coached at USC, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisville, Ohio, Oklahoma State, The University of the South, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, and Texas A&M during his 33-year coaching career, and spent a year in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. His USC bio reads almost like an unfurled scroll.
But Summers also likely brings a level of comfort and familiarity to Florida's offense — he worked under Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips during his time at Kentucky from 2010 to 2012. That makes him one of two Florida coaches with previous ties to Phillips: Incoming offensive coordinator Kurt Roper worked with him at Kentucky in 2005.
And given that Phillips was the lone offensive coach whose position group was viewed as more or less a success in a disastrous 2013 season, it might not be a bad idea to bring in guys who think like and can work with someone who knows how to develop players.
This hire is likely to be Florida's last one, completing Will Muschamp's staff for his make-or-break 2014 season, and not just because GatorZone's Scott Carter's lede is literally "The revamping of Gators coach Will Muschamp’s staff is complete." The only other plausible change would have been the firing of tight ends coach Derek Lewis, but his instrumental role in landing recruit Gerald Willis from his native Louisiana serves as good evidence that he is very much a part of Muschamp's staff.