Report: Choate to join Florida staff

First-year defensive coordinator Jeff Choate has left the UTEP staff and will join the Florida coaching staff, according to a report by the El Paso Times. Choate left his job as linebackers coach at Washington State in the offseason and just completed his first spring at UTEP.

The heart of Choate's coaching experience came at Boise State. He was on the staff from 2006-2011, working as a part of the same group as current Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease. Choate coached running backs from 2006-2008, linebackers in 2009 and nickel backs from 2010-2011.

During each of those years, he served as the team's special teams coach, a role he will likely take over on the Florida coaching staff. Florida head coach Will Muschamp told reporters in Jacksonville last week that he expected the hire to have special teams experience and take over as the coach of that unit.

Choate's special teams units put up explosive numbers at Boise State. In 2008, future first-round pick Kyle Wilson led the country with three punt return touchdowns and was 12th with a punt return average of 14.2 yards. Next season, Titus Young returned two kickoffs for a touchdown and averaged 26.9 yards per kickoff return, good for 20th in the country.

The Broncos ranked in the top 25 in kickoff returns average during three of Choate's six seasons as the special teams coach. They were also in the top 25 in punt returns average in four of his six seasons at Boise State.

It's likely that he will take over the special teams unit, but it's not certain at this point.

UTEP head coach Sean Kugler was very excited about bringing Choate to his staff in the offseason.

"Coach Choate is the epitome of an energizer bunny," Kugler said on the school's official website. "His motor runs full 24/7. I had the opportunity to work with him at Boise State. He has worked on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. He was probably the top special teams coach in the country when he was at Boise State. He is one of the best recruiters you'll ever be around. He got the Texas pipeline started at Boise State. I'm excited about the unmatched energy he's going to bring on a daily basis to our program."

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