Muschamp calls Choate a ‘great addition'

Familiarity is important to Florida head coach Will Muschamp, and it shows in the hires he has made. Each hire has a connection to someone on the Florida staff. For newly hired special teams and outside linebacker coach Jeff Choate, it was working together with offensive coordinator Brent Pease at Boise State that made Muschamp familiar with him and comfortable enough to add him to the staff.

Muschamp also has some familiarity with Choate. When Muschamp worked as the defensive coordinator at Texas, the two crossed paths when Choate was at Boise State.

"He visited Austin and we spent a lot of time talking defensive and special teams schemes," Will Muschamp said. "He also visited us in Gainesville last spring and we are very much on the same page philosophically."

Choate also brings energy to Gainesville. It's something he prides himself on while teaching special teams and working with the outside linebackers. Choate coached linebackers at Montana Western from 1992-93, at Boise State from 2006-08 and at Washington State in 2012.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to join the Gator staff and have the chance to compete at the highest level," Jeff Choate said. "I've gotten to know Coach Muschamp over the past couple of years and have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a coach and a person. I'm looking forward to continuing the great special-teams tradition that has been established here and can't wait to get to work.

"I would also like to thank everyone at UTEP, and most importantly Coach Kugler, for the support and opportunity they gave me. I wish him and the program nothing but the best of luck."

Choate spent most of his time at Boise State as a key recruiter in Texas. He worked on staff for the Broncos from 2006-2011, all of those years with Pease, before leaving to take the linebackers coach job at Washington State in 2012. He left Mike Leach's staff to take the defensive coordinator position at UTEP.

Choate completed spring ball at UTEP before deciding the job in Gainesville was too good to pass up. Muschamp is optimistic his experience will benefit the defensive side of the football, but his biggest impact should come on special teams.

"We are excited to have Jeff Choate join our staff," said Muschamp. "He is a high-energy coach, an outstanding recruiter and evaluator, and has a reputation as one of the top special-teams coaches in the nation. He has coached on both sides of the ball and was most recently a defensive coordinator. He sees the big picture and will be a great addition to our staff.

Choate replaces Bryant Young, who left the staff for non-football reasons after spring football. He takes over as special teams coach when D.J. Durkin was promoted to Florida defensive coordinator and gave up that position.

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