Gators promoting analyst to tight ends coach position
The Florida Gators are promoting from within to fill the tight ends coaching spot left by William Peagler after his departure to the NFL. Defensive analyst Russ Callaway is being promoted, according to On3’s Matt Zenitz.
Callaway played quarterback for Valdosta State but tore his ACL twice from 2009 to 2010 and followed his father’s footsteps as a coach. Callaway’s dad, Neil, was the head coach at Alabama-Birmingham at the time. After serving as a student assistant at VSU his senior year, he served as a defensive assistant for Alabama during back-to-back championship seasons in 2011 and 2012. Billy Napier was also an analyst for the Crimson Tide in 2011 and Callaway was coaching under then-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Kirby Smart.
After Alabama, Callaway coached wide receivers and was the recruiting coordinator for two years at Murray State. He moved on to Samford, where he lasted five years as a wide receivers coach and then quarterbacks coach. Callaway made his way back to the SEC in 2020 as a senior offensive assistant and analyst for LSU and then worked with the New York Giants in 2021 before joining Billy Napier’s staff as a defensive analyst.
Florida is expected to name Russ Callaway as its new tight ends coach, sources tell @on3sports.
Callaway, a former offensive coordinator at Samford, had been an analyst at Florida after stops with the New York Giants and LSU. https://t.co/DlIXY67ten pic.twitter.com/92awkGLBeu
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) March 6, 2023
Although Callaway was working with Florida’s defense in 2022, he should transition into his new role seamlessly. He’s worked with pass catchers before and produced great results. He’ll be working with a group that didn’t perform up to expectations a season ago but should have a bit more depth in 2023.
Juniors Keon Zipperer and Dante Zanders served as starters a year ago and are both returning, and Jonathan Odom is also back on campus. Arlis Boardignham didn’t play a game last season, but he could be a factor in his redshirt freshman year. Fellow 2022 signee Hayden Hansen also returns, and Andrew Savaiinaea has transitioned from defensive end to tight end.
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