"To be honest with you, these kids, you start getting attached and seeing what they're doing. There's still some work to be done. The future is bright."
That's especially the case with Pease staying in Gainesville for more than one year. It will bring continuity to the offensive side of the ball. If the entire offensive staff can remain intact with quarterback Jeff Driskel also coming back, the offense should take steps forward just based off the comfort in the offensive scheme.
Years ago, Pease wouldn't be handling this the same way. He recalled times early in his coaching career when he was willing to jump at almost any job that was a promotion or more money. That isn't the case anymore. Now an offensive coordinator at a major university, Pease is content waiting for the right opportunity to take a head coaching position.
"There is always an opportunity down the road," Pease said. "When I was young, I was ready to make a move quick on some things. Young guys are coming to me now and asking what should they do. I always tell them this: 'If you're at good place, if you work with good people, and you enjoy going to work every day, the grass isn't always greener.' It's really not about a money situation.
"I think you've still got to have goals as to what you want to accomplish and reach, but I think those will come when it's right. Don't push the issue. And for me, there's a lot to accomplish here. There's still a goal I want to accomplish in winning a national championship or winning an SEC title and all that, and I like it here. I like the people I work with and I really like the kids."
Kentucky seemed like the natural fit. Pease served as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in Lexington from 2001-2002 and spoke highly of the program this season during the week before Florida played Kentucky.
"I think they had a plan, and I wasn't plan A," Pease said. "Maybe I wasn't plan B, I don't really know that as much. They went after a few other guys—obviously Mark (Stoops). That's the direction they went."
The 48-year-old Pease looks around the country and continues to see his peers get head coaching jobs at younger ages every offseason. Brian Harsin, who worked with Pease at Boise State before leaving to take the offensive coordinator position at Texas, was recently named the head coach at Arkansas State at the age of 39.
Pease wants to be a head coach some day. It's just a matter of when the right opportunity will come.
"Sometimes you get in the point where as a coach you're competitive and you want that situation for you too, but you've got to know your role," Pease said. "Like we tell our kids, you've got to know your role sometimes, and if that situation's right, and I'm doing a good job, maybe someday my opportunity's going to come. If not, I know I've worked to be in a very good spot with very good people.
"In the coaching profession you change a lot and you work with different people, different staffs, you learn a lot about yourself. I think we're at a spot here where I really enjoy where I'm at. I enjoy the people."
The other factor in Pease's decision is his family. When he and his wife decided they would leave Boise State and move to Gainesville to take the offensive coordinator job, there were still some questions in the mind of his family. It has worked out well, but he doesn't want to put them through more change unless it's for the right job.
"I took, I wouldn't say a risk, but an opportunity when I came here last year because my daughter was a junior in high school," Pease said. "And even my son being a freshman, now they are sophomores and seniors, that's a hard move when you're that age of a girl in high school and you're taking her away from some friends. But my daughter is one that's adventurous and she was for it. Because if my family wasn't good with it, I probably wouldn't have done it."