Hutzler ‘excited' to return to Gainesville

Florida made the hiring of special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler official Friday morning. Hutzler spent two seasons at New Mexico coaching special teams and outside linebackers and will now return to Gainesville after serving on the Florida staff from 2010-11.

"I'm excited to be returning to Gainesville and be a part of the Gator family again," Coleman Hutzler said. "I enjoyed my time there and have the utmost respect for Coach Muschamp and the administrative team in place at Florida. I understand the value placed on special teams under Coach Muschamp and look forward to getting to work."

Hutzler worked alongside D.J. Durkin, now the Florida defensive coordinator, during his time in Gainesville and understands what the Gators are trying to do on special teams. That's why the hire made sense in the mind of Will Muschamp. He can step in after Jeff Choate resigned to pursue other coaching jobs.

The hire will allow the Gators to head into spring practice without having to install new schemes on special teams.

"Coleman is a young coach with a very bright future," Will Muschamp said. "He has a great work ethic and obviously is very familiar with our special teams' schemes. It will be a seamless transition for our players."

New Mexico's special teams took steps forward under Hutzler. It ranked 16th on kickoff returns last season with 24 yards per return. Sophomore Carlos Wiggins was the 2013 Mountain West special teams player of the year after leading the nation with 1,303 total kick returns yards and fifth nationally with a 29.6-yard average on kickoff returns.

New Mexico punter Ben Skaer was a first-team All-Mountain West selection in 2013 after leading the conference and finishing seventh nationally with a 45.8 yards per punt average, a single-season record at New Mexico.

Before Hutzler served on the Florida staff from 2010-11, he spent three years (2007-09) at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh.

HUGHES ADDED TO STAFF: The Gators made another move official on Friday, adding Drew Hughes to the staff as the director of player personnel. He held the same position at North Carolina State last season.

Hughes oversaw the operational aspects of North Carolina State's recruiting last season.

"Drew will be a great asset to our program," said Muschamp. "He is extremely organized, and based on his experience he has a very good understanding of how we operate and should fit right in."

Before joining the Wolfpack staff, Hughes served in the same role at UCF. He also spent five years (2007-11) at Alabama working for Nick Saban and under Ed Marynowitz, who is currently the assistant director of pro scouting for the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to work for Coach Muschamp and the University of Florida," said Hughes. "It will be great to get back to the state of Florida and the SEC – the best conference in the nation. I'm very much looking forward to helping the Florida coaching staff attract student athletes who will be champions both on and off the field."

Fightin Gators Top Stories