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#pounditWednesday, January 19, 2022

Florida makes major changes to coaching staff after ugly loss

Todd Grantham at Florida

The Florida Gators are shaking up their coaching staff following Saturday’s blowout loss to South Carolina.

As first reported by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, the Gators have fired defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy. There was no immediate word on who would handle those duties instead.

Grantham’s firing is abrupt but hardly unwarranted. The Gators gave up 40 points to South Carolina on Saturday, marking the second time in three games they have given up 40 points or more. The defense has been an issue dating back to last season, when they ranked No. 9 among SEC teams in yards allowed. That was a key reason the team went 8-4 despite an elite offense, and it was a source of frustration for coach Dan Mullen even then.

The most significant aspect of this might be what it means for coach Mullen’s future. Hevesy has coached under Mullen since 2001, while Grantham followed Mullen to Florida after they worked together at Mississippi State. Both Hevesy and Grantham were Mullen hires and close to the head coach, whose own position has been under increasing scrutiny as the losses have piled up. He hasn’t helped his own cause with some silly-sounding remarks.

The Gators started the season 4-1 with the lone defeat coming in a very competitive two-point loss against Alabama. Since then, they’ve lost three in a row and four of their last five.

Photo: Sep 28, 2019; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive coordinator Todd Grantham prior to the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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