McCarney Next on Meyer's Coaching Tree

It has been a tumultuous year for Urban Meyer and his Florida Gators but one thing that keeps growing strong is his own coaching tree. Dan McCarney was named to the head coaching position at North Texas today and that would make eight assistant coaches under Meyer that went on to become head coaches after leaving Meyer's staff.

Dan McCarney has coached defensive line for the Gators for the last three seasons after replacing Greg Mattison who moved on to be the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. Before coming to Florida, McCarney coached the defensive line at South Florida, and before that, was the head coach at Iowa State for 12 seasons.

Meyer has always talked about having the utmost respect for his defensive line coach who was always a media favorite as well.

"I'm happy for Coach McCarney and his family," Meyer said in a statement released Tuesday. "He has a proven track record as a head coach and we were fortunate to have him on our staff for the last three years. He did a great job with our defensive line and I fully expect him to be successful at North Texas."

McCarney marks the fourth assistant at Florida to move on to become a head coach at other Football Bowl Subdivision programs. Charlie Strong left for Louisville a year ago after serving five years as Meyer's defensive coordinator at Florida. Dan Mullen followed Meyer from Utah where he was Meyer's quarterback coach and became the offensive coordinator for the Gators for five years before being named the head coach at Mississippi State two years ago. Doc Holliday was a part of Urban Meyer's first national championship staff in 2006 as the recruiting coordinator and secondary coach. He moved on after the 2007 season to his alma mater at West Virginia, before accepting the head coaching job at Marshall in December of 2009.

While at Utah, Kyle Whittingham served as Meyer's defensive coordinator and Mike Sanford served as Meyer's offensive coordinator. When Meyer left Utah, Whittingham was named the head coach of Utah and Sanford was offered and accepted the head coaching position at UNLV.

Meyer's first stop as a head coach was at Bowling Green and from there the fruits of his coaching tree started to flourish. Tim Beckman left Bowling Green to become the head coach at Toledo and has been there ever since in that capacity. When Meyer left Bowling Green, Greg Brandon, was named the head coach and he remained in that position for six years.

In a coaching career that spans just one decode (10 years), Urban Meyer has seen eight of his assistants move on to head coaching positions at major universities across America. Five of those former assistants will be coaching in bowl games this winter and Holliday at Marshall missed being bowl eligible by one game. Despite a couple of speed bumps, Meyer's terrific run on coaching in college football continues at a remarkable pace.
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