Jeff Choate Resigns, Gators Hire Coleman Hutzler
GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Head coach Will Muschamp announced on Friday that Coleman Hutzler will join the Florida football program as the Special Teams’ Coordinator. Hutzler rejoins the Gators’ staff after spending two seasons at New Mexico. He will be filling the spot left vacant by Jeff Choate, who has resigned to pursue other coaching opportunities.
“Coleman is a young coach with a very bright future,” said Muschamp. “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.”
Hutzler served on the Florida staff from 2010-11, assisting off the field with the defense and special teams and working closely with current defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin. He joined the New Mexico staff in the spring of 2012 and coached the Lobos’ special teams and outside linebackers for the past two seasons.
“I’m excited to be returning to Gainesville and be a part of the Gator family again,” said Hutzler. “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.”
UNM’s kickoff return unit ranked 16th in the nation in 2013, averaging 24.0 yards per return. Sophomore Carlos Wiggins was named the 2013 Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year after leading the nation with 1,303 total kick return yards and ranking fifth nationally with a 29.6 kickoff return average. He was the only player in the country to return three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2013, which also tied the Mountain West single-season record.
Hutzler also coached punter Ben Skaer, who was a first-team All-Mountain West selection in 2013. He led the conference and ranked seventh nationally with a punting average of 45.8 yards, also a single-season record at UNM.
In 2012, New Mexico had three special teams’ players earn honorable mention All-Mountain West honors: kicker Justus Adams, kick returner Chase Clayton and Skaer. On the defensive side, Hutzler's outside linebackers combined to record 19 tackles-for-loss and eight sacks.
Prior to his time at Florida, Hutzler spent three seasons (2007-09) at Stanford working for coach Jim Harbaugh. He also worked under Harbaugh at the University of San Diego in 2006. The Toreros' nationally-ranked defense helped USD win the Division I-AA Mid-Major National Championship.
Hutzler played linebacker at Middlebury (Vt.) College and graduated in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Born in Reno, Nev., and a native of Las Vegas, Nev., Hutzler attended The Meadows School.
Hutzler and his wife, Cobey, have one son, one-year-old Micah.
Muschamp also announced the addition of Drew Hughes to the Gator football staff. Hughes will serve as the Director of Player Personnel after serving in the same role at NC State for the past year.
“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.”
“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.”
Hughes oversaw all operational aspects of NC State’s recruiting last year. Prior to joining the Wolfpack, he was on staff at Central Florida as the Knights’ Director of Player Personnel. He also spent five seasons in the recruiting office at Alabama (2007-11) working under Ed Marynowitz, who is now the Assistant Director of Pro Scouting for the Philadelphia Eagles.
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