Heater a Possibility for D-Coordinator

With Urban Meyer's long-term status as head coach in limbo, Florida football is looking for anything that can help stabilize their situation going forward. Filling the defensive coordinator spot that opened with Charlie Strong's departure to Louisville is one thing that could reassure recruits and fans that there's a plan in place.

Current safeties coach Chuck Heater would welcome being the man to take on that challenge.

Heater was Urban Meyer's first guy on the ground in Gainesville after he took the job. Beyond his position responsibilities, Heater's been in charge of recruiting as well as assistant defensive coordinator. Now he's looking forward to expanding his duties in some way.

"I'm interested in having a leadership role, whatever it might be," said Heater. "We've been trying to find the right pieces for the defensive situation since Charlie's left. I've been involved with that in the decision making of it. We're just trying to get the best people."

One possibility for Florida could be a return to the co-defensive coordinator approach that Meyer employed for his first three seasons with the Gators with Strong and Greg Mattison. Heater says that kind of setup would be fine with him.

"We've done some really good things here, but we're really anxious to bring in some other thoughts as well. I'm not quite sure how it's going to come together."

One of Heater's pupils likes the idea of a promotion from within to fill the top spot on defense. Will Hill has spent the past two years in Strong's defensive scheme, and he'd rather not see major changes there.

"I would like to see somebody from the team take over because they already know the concept of it and wouldn't want to shake up everything," Hill said.

While not specifically singling out Heater as the guy he'd like to get the job, Hill noted one particular edge his position coach might have.

"Coach Heater calls the plays up in the box, so basically you could say he's been running it for a while. It'd just be an easy transition."


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