GAINESVILLE, FLA. (AP) - After losing Al Golden to Miami, Temple turned to the Sunshine State to find his replacement.
The Owls hired Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio to replace Golden, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because Temple has not publicly announced the hiring.
Addazio is expected to be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday, but remain at Florida through the Outback Bowl against Penn State on Jan. 1.
The 51-year-old Addazio has been a member of Urban Meyer’s staff at Florida the last six years. He has was an assistant at Syracuse (1995-98), Notre Dame (1999-2001) and Indiana (2002-04). His only head coaching experience came at Cheshire High School in Connecticut (1988-94).
Addazio was one of Florida’s best recruiters under Meyer, landing some of the top talent in the northeast and earning an associate head coach title this year after he helped keep the program’s recruiting class together during Meyer’s leave of absence.
He also was a key motivator, with his “Vitamin Addazio” speeches getting rave reviews.
But Addazio was under fire most of this season, getting the blame for an offense that sputtered in just about every game.
Many felt Addazio should have done more to tweak the offense around quarterback John Brantley. Others said Addazio was spread too thin, pointing out the offensive line’s sub-par play and some questionable play calling in clutch situations. The Gators rank 80th in the country in total offense (356.8 yards a game) and tied for 61st in sacks allowed (23).
He joined Meyer’s staff as tight ends coach in 2005 and has steadily increased his role in the offense. He became offensive line coach in 2007, assistant head coach in 2008, then took over play-calling duties last season.
The Gators haven’t been the same since.
In 2007, Florida averaged 38.1 points and 436.5 yards in conference play. In 2008, scoring increased to 44.9 points while yards dropped slightly to 429 yards a game.
With Tim Tebow returning for his senior season and Addazio taking over the offense in 2009, the Gators averaged 27.6 points and 375 yards. Although points were about the same this season, yards were down considerably.
The Owls went 3-31 in the three seasons before Golden arrived. They went 1-11 in his first season there, then won 26 games over the past four years.
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