Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; Feb. 18

A few thoughts to jump start your Wednesday morning...

The University of Florida has a way to go before it catches up to Miami of Ohio as the cradle of coaches, but 48 Florida assistants or former players have become head coaches in either college or the NFL since 1950. Former Florida assistants have won three college national championships, two black college national championships, two Super Bowls, one American Football League title and four Arena Bowl championships.

Every full-time head coach at UF (Gary Darnell and Charlie Strong were interim head coaches) has branches on a coaching tree. Steve Spurrier, the winningest Florida football coach, had 11 of his assistants go on to become head coaches while Ray Graves and Charley Pell were responsible for eight each.

Here are the coaching trees for every full time head coach at UF since 1950.


Assistants or players who became head coaches:

1. Frank Broyles (Missouri 1957; Arkansas 1958-76)
2. Hank Foldberg (Wichita State 1960-61; Texas A&M 1962-64)
3. John Rauch (Oakland Raiders 1963-66; Buffalo Bills 1969-70; Toronto CFL 1973-74)
4. Doug Dickey (Tennessee 1964-69; Florida 1970-78)
5. Dale Hall (Army 1959-61)
6. John Sauer (Citadel, 1955-56)
7. Charlie Tate (Miami 1964-70; Jacksonville WFL 1974)

Woodruff took the Gators to their first two bowl games (Gator Bowl, 1952 and 1958) and a 53-42-6 record. Woodruff assembled fine coaching staffs and his tree includes Frank Broyles, Doug Dickey and John Rauch. Broyles, who is part of the Bob Neyland coaching tree (played at Georgia Tech under Bobby Dodd, an All-American at UT under Neyland), became a head coach in 1956 at Missouri then one year later took over at Arkansas where he won a national championship. Twenty-five of his assistant coaches became head coaches including Barry Switzer (three national championships, 1 Super Bowl), Jimmy Johnson (1 national championship, 2 Super Bowls), Joe Gibbs (3 Super Bowl championships), Johnny Majors (1 national championship) and Hayden Fry, whose coaching tree includes Bob Stoops, Bill Snyder, Barry Alvarez and Bret Bielema. Broyles was Dickey’s position coach at Florida in 1950 and later gave Dickey his first assistant coaching job in 1957. Rauch won the AFL championship with the Oakland Raiders and faced the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II.

Woodruff played and coached for Bob Neyland at Tennessee. He was the head coach at Baylor before he came to Florida. At Baylor his offensive coordinator was Frank Broyles and the quarterback was Hayden Fry. Broyles and Fry are the two most prolific branches on the Bob Neyland coaching tree.

RAY GRAVES 1960-69

Assistants or players who became head coaches:

1. Fred Pancoast (Memphis State 1972-74; Vanderbilt 1975-78)
2. Billy Kinard (Ole Miss 1971-73)
3. Jack Green (Vanderbilt 1963-66)
4. Lindy Infante (Jacksonville Bulls USFL 1984-85; Green Bay Packers 1988-91; Indianapolis Colts 1996-97)
5. Pepper Rodgers (Kansas 1967-70; UCLA 1971-73; Georgia Tech 1974-79; Memphis USFL 1984-85)
6. Steve Spurrier (Tampa Bay Bandits USFL 1983-85; Duke 1987-89; Florida 1990-2001; Washington Redskins 2002-03; South Carolina 2005-present)
7. Kim Helton (Houston 1993-99)
8. Kay Stephenson (Buffalo Bills 1983-85; Sacramento WLAF 1991-92;
Sacramento CFL 1993-94; San Antonio CFL 1995; Edmonton CFL 1998)

Graves was an All-American center for Bob Neyland at Tennessee. He became Bobby Dodd’s defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech where he is widely regarded as the inventor of the pro-set, 4-3 defense, which he came up with as a way to stop Bud Wilkinson’s Wing-T offense at Oklahoma in the 1950s. Graves’ most famous protégé was Steve Spurrier, who made Florida a household name in college football in three seasons including 1966, when he won the Heisman Trophy.

Graves is also a prominent branch on the coaching tree of the legendary Earle “Greasy Neale,” a member of the college and pro football halls of fame.


1. Ken Hatfield (Air Force 1979-83; Arkansas 1984-89; Clemson 1990-93; Rice 1994-04)
2. Kim Helton (Houston 1993-99)
3. Lindy Infante (Jacksonville Bulls USFL 1984-85; Green Bay Packers 1988-91; Indianapolis Colts 1996-97)
4. Lambert Reed (Morris Brown 1978-81)
5. Chan Gailey (Troy State 1983-84; Birmingham Fire WLAF 1991-92; Dallas Cowboys 1998-99; Georgia Tech 2002-07; Buffalo Bills 2010-12)
6. Steve Spurrier (Tampa Bay Bandits USFL 1983-85; Duke 1987-89; Florida 1990-2001; Washington Redskins 2002-03; South Carolina 2005-present).
7. Bill Fulcher (Tampa 1971; Georgia Tech 1972-73)

Dickey was the hottest coach in the country when he bolted Tennessee in 1969 after winning two SEC championships and beating Bear Bryant three straight years (1967-69). Seven of Dickey’s assistants became head coaches, the most famous of which was Spurrier, whose first college job was coaching the quarterbacks at Florida in 1978, Dickey’s final year as head coach.

Dickey is part of the Bob Neyland coaching tree.


1. Mike Shanahan (Los Angeles Raiders 1988-89; Denver Broncos 1995-2008; Washington Redskins 2010-13)
2. Joe Kines (* Arkansas 1992; * Alabama 2006)
* Interim
3. Galen Hall (Florida 1984-89; Orlando Thunder WLAF 1992; Charlotte Rage AFL 1994; Rhein Fire NFL Europe 1995-2000; Orlando Rage XFL 2001)
4. Charlie Strong (* Florida 2004; Louisville 2010-13; Texas 2014-present)
* Interim
5. Jim Parker (Alabama State 1983-84)
6. Mike Mularkey (Buffalo Bills 2004-05; Jacksonville Jaguars 2012-present)
7. Gene Chizik (Iowa State 2007-08; Auburn 2009-12)
8. Kerwin Bell (Jacksonville 2007-present)

Pell was an All-SEC guard for Bear Bryant at Alabama, who got his coaching start as a graduate assistant in Tuscaloosa. He rebuilt the Florida program from the ground up after Dickey was fired. After an 0-10-1 start the Gators went 33-16-3. His coaching tree includes Mike Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls as head coach of the Denver Broncos, and Gene Chizik, who won the 2010 national championship at Auburn. Pell gave Charlie Strong his first college job as a graduate assistant in 1983.

Pell is a branch on two prominent coaching trees – Bryant and Blanton Collier, which makes him a limb on the Paul Brown coaching tree.

GALEN HALL 1984-89

1. Gary Darnell (* Florida 1989; Western Michigan 1997-2004; * Texas A&M 2007)
* Interim
2. Charlie Bailey (Memphis Sate 1986-88; UTEP 1993-99)
3. Charlie Strong (* Florida 2004; Louisville 2010-present)
* Interim
4. Bill Cubit (Widener 1992-96; Western Michigan 2005-12)

Hall took over prior to the fourth game of the 1984 season when Pell was dismissed as part of an agreement with the NCAA, which hit the Gators with a severe probation. Four of his coaches got head coaching gigs including Charlie Strong, who he inherited as a graduate assistant from Pell.

Hall is considered a limb on the Frank Broyles coaching tree because he spent 10 years working for Barry Switzer at Oklahoma.


1. Bob Pruett (Marshall 1996-2004)
2. Bob Stoops (Oklahoma 1999-present)
3. Ron Zook (Florida 2002-04; Illinois 2005-2011)
4. Buddy Teevens (Stanford 2002-04; Dartmouth 2005-present)
5. Kerwin Bell (Jacksonville 2007-present)
6. Jim Bates (* Miami Dolphins 2004)
* Interim
7. Rod Broadway (North Carolina Central, 2003-06; Grambling 2007-10; North Carolina A&T 2011-present)
8. Carl Franks (Duke 1999-2003)
9. Charlie Strong (* Florida 2004; Louisville 2010-13; Texas 2014-present)
* Interim
10. Tim Marcum (Tampa Bay Storm, AFL, 1995-2010)
11. G.A. Mangus (Delaware Valley State 2002-05)

Spurrier’s 122-27-1 record is still the best in Florida history. He won six of UF’s eight SEC championships and the first national championship in Florida football history. Eleven of his coaches became head coaches. Bob Pruett won the 1996 Division IAA championship at Marshall. Rod Broadway won two black national championships at Grambling (2006, 2008) and Tim Marcum, the winningest coach in Arena Football League history, won four Arena Bowls with the Tampa Bay Storm after his year on Spurrier’s staff in 1990. Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator on the 1996 national championship team, has won one national title (1996) and eight Big 12 championships.

The roots of Spurrier’s coaching tree go all the way back to Bob Neyland.

RON ZOOK 2002-04

1. Larry Fedora (Southern Miss 2008-11; North Carolina 2012-present)
2. Charlie Strong (* Florida 2004; Louisville 2010-13; Texas 2014-present)
* Interim
3. Mike Locksley (New Mexico)
4. John Thompson (East Carolina 2003-04)

Four Zook assistants became head coaches including current UNC coach Larry Fedora and Charlie Strong, who served at Florida under Pell, Hall and Spurrier before working for Zook.

Zook is part of the Miami Cradle of Coaches but he also has ties to the Bob Neyland tree via Spurrier and Johnny Majors, the Lou Holtz tree through Bill Cowher and the Bill Walsh tree through Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

Urban Meyer 2005-10

1. Dan Mullen (Mississippi State 2009-present)
2. Charlie Strong (* Florida 2004; Louisville 2010-13; Texas 2014-present)
3. Doc Holliday (Marshall, 2010-present)
4. Dan McCarney (North Texas, 2011-present)
5. Steve Addazio (Temple, 2011-12; Boston College 2013-present)
6. Kenny Carter (Delaware State 2015-present)

Meyer went 65-15 at Florida with national and SEC championships in 2006 and 2008. Six members of Meyer’s growing and substantial coaching tree worked at Florida. Five of the six – Mullen, Strong, Holliday, McCarney and Addazio – have taken a Division I team to a bowl game. Carter became the new head coach at Delaware State of the MEAC in Division IAA in December.

Meyer is part of the Miami Cradle of Coaches because of Earle Bruce and is part of the Lou Holtz coaching tree. He has ties to the Bob Neyland coaching tree through Sonny Lubick, who became a head coach after working for Jimmy Johnson at Miami.

1. Charlie Weis (Kansas, 2012-14)
2. Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons, 2015-present)

Muschamp gets a couple of branches on a coaching tree because Weis took the Kansas job after one year at UF (2011). Dan Quinn was recently named head coach of the NFL Atlanta Falcons after two years as the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator.

Muschamp is part of the Vince Dooley coaching tree with ties to Bob Neyland by way of Tommy Tuberville, who coached for Jimmy Johnson at Miami. Muschamp is also a branch on the Nick Saban coaching tree, which means he is also a branch on the Bill Peterson (FSU) tree. Peterson’s FSU staffs included Bobby Bowden, Joe Gibbs, Vince Gibson, Bill Parcells (mentor of Nick Saban) and Don James (Saban’s college coach), Bobby Ross and Earle Bruce.


Urban Meyer thinks the nine assistants who worked for him at Florida in 2008 might go down as one of the best college staffs in history. Of the nine, five are now head coaches and four are coordinators.

Here is the staff, their position at UF in 2008 and their current job:

Charlie Strong, defensive coordinator/linebackers: Head coach, Texas.

Dan McCarney, defensive line: Head coach, North Texas.

Dan Mullen, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks: Head coach, Mississippi State.

Vance Bedford, cornerbacks: Defensive coordinator, Texas.

Chuck Heater, safeties: Defensive coordinator, Marshall.

Steve Addazio, offensive line: Head coach, Boston College.

Billy Gonzales, wide receivers: Co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers Mississippi State.

John Hevesy, tight ends/O-line: co-offensive coordinator/offensive line, Mississippi State

Kenny Carter, running backs: Head coach, Delaware State.


Meyer thinks the 2008 staff rates among the best in college football history. Would you consider it among the best in college history and where would you rate it among the best staffs in UF football history?


I first saw the Robert Cray Band at Sun Fest in the early 1990s, back when it was the best music weekend of the spring down in West Palm Beach. Cray puts on a great show that’s well worth taking in if you ever get a chance. He’ll be coming to Florida April 27-May 1, playing Ponte Vedre Beach, Clearwater, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando before heading north to Atlanta for a May 2 performance. Today’s music is a 2010 live performance of “Cooking in Mobile,” Cray’s 2010 album by the same name that was recorded at the Saenger Theatre in Mobile. I couldn’t decide on one Cray song, so I just threw in the whole album today.

Fightin Gators Top Stories