After a week long spring break, Florida return to the gridiron to resume 2023 spring camp in the midst of head coach Billy Napier’s second season. Tuesday, Florida completed its fifth spring practice; however, it was the first for newly appointed wide receiver coach Billy Gonzales.
Luckily, Gonzales has plenty of experience dealing with Gator wide outs from a previous tenure in that position at Florida The 51-year old made his presence known during media viewing period motivating and encouraging Florida’s pass catchers in drills. Gonzales potent nature was quickly recognized as he shouted feedback and critiques among his players.
Billy Gonzales is back pic.twitter.com/gf70RYqCmH
— Nick de la Torre (@delatorre) March 21, 2023
Under former coach Dan Mullen, Gonzales spent 2018-21 as the wide receiver coach, overseeing some talented pass catchers.
With three decades of experience under his belt, Gonzales is most notably recognized for assisting former Gators receiver Kadarius Toney in his development. The Super Bowl champion credits his development to Gonzales during his time at UF. During his Pro Day, Toney praised the job Florida wideout coach.
“Any receiver looking to go to college and be successful, I’ll say go to Florida for real, because of Billy Gonzales,” said Toney. ““He really transformed me into what you see today.”
Now, Gonzales will look to repeat his previous impact under Napier’s tenure.
Corey Raymond Commands the Secondary
This past week it was reported that Gator assistant coach Corey Raymond has recently reached a contract extension with Florida. The longtime defensive back coach’s tenure at the Swamp will run per his contract until 2025.
Also, Raymond will take more of an influential role this upcoming season as he will oversee the Gator secondary. His promotion follows the departure of defensive coordinator Patrick Toney in the offseason. After Tuesday’s practice, Raymond spoke to the media for the first since the signing of the extension.
Raymond will now pivot to a new defensive coordinator in Austin Armstrong but the LSU alum said he is pleased with the high energy Armstrong has displayed during camp thus far.
A change in coaching does see a fair share of adjusting, especially to a new play caller on the defensive side of the ball. However, Raymond said the transition has not been a factor at all.
Last season, Raymond mainly focused on the cornerbacks but now he will oversee both safeties and the nickel position as well during spring season.