Florida vs. Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 17, 2022. Photo courtesy of Hannah White.

Two Gators Coaches Leaving For NFL

The Gators football team’s defensive coordinator, Patrick Toney, is leaving the program to accept a job on the Arizona Cardinals defensive staff. The news comes after only one season on the Gators’ staff. Peagler was also on Napier’s defensive staff at Louisiana for four seasons.

As the Gators’ DC for the 2022 season, Toney’s defense finished 97th in the nation for total defense. They allowed 235.8 passing yards per game which finished 11th in the SEC. Additionally, they gave up 28.8 points per game which ranked 10th in the SEC.

Gators Target New Defensive Coordinator

Just hours after Toney informed Florida that he is leaving for the NFL, the Gators set its sights on a replacement. Austin Armstrong will become the next defensive coordinator at Florida barring any unexpected moves. Armstrong was hired as Alabama’s linebackers coach just over a month ago. He was the youngest FBS defensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi for two years.

Armstrong led the Golden Eagles to one of the best statistical defenses in the country. Armstrong’s ability to recruit will be interesting as Toney was key in bringing in a solid defensive class.

William Peagler Following Toney To Cardinals

Gators tight end coach William Peagler will follow Toney to the NFL. Peagler was brought on the staff by Napier when he was hired at Florida. He was formerly the running backs coach at Michigan State when Kenneth Walker III won the Doak Walker Award.

In just one season with the Gators, Peagler dealt with an injury plagued end room. This created a lack of depth at the position and an inability for Peagler to showcase his full availibilities as a coach.

No potential replacements for Peagler have been announced.

About Daniel Haviv

Hello, my name is Daniel Haviv and I'm a junior sports journalism student at the University of Florida. As a sports writer, I have published content on a multitude of different sports across all levels. Additionally, I was a beat reporter for the Gators Men's Basketball team for the 2022-2023 season. Game-day previews and post-game articles are featured.

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