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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

Gators assistants Pease, Davis fired

Published:   |   Updated: December 1, 2013 at 04:45 PM

GAINESVILLE - Brent Pease met with Florida head coach Will Muschamp on Sunday morning and was told he would not return as the Gators’ offensive coordinator, and that Tim Davis had been let go as the offensive line coach.

The school confirmed the firing several hours later.

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Pease and Coach Davis,’’ Muschamp said in a statement. “They are both good football coaches and even better people. There have been a lot of unfortunate circumstances this year, but that is part of the game sometimes.

“I want to thank each of them for their contributions to the program both on and off the field.’’

The 49-year-old Pease is a veteran assistant who served as offensive coordinator at Kentucky and Baylor prior to arriving at UF two seasons ago from Boise State.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to come to the University of Florida and work with a bunch of great coaches, administrative staff and players,’’ Pease said. “I know we came up short of our ultimate goal, but I will carry on knowing I gained valuable friendships and relationships during my time here.’’

Davis also spent two years at UF. The offensive line was riddled with injuries and after producing one of the SEC’s top running games in 2012 stumbled badly this fall.

The Gators finished near the bottom of the national rankings in total offense in two straight seasons under Pease. UF finished 103rd out of 120 teams in 2012 and fell to 112th nationally after Saturday’s 37-7 loss to FSU.

Florida finished 4-8, its first losing record since going 0-10-1 team in 1979, which was also the last time UF had a seven-game losing streak prior to this season.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley has confirmed Muschamp will be back for his fourth season numerous times, including before Saturday’s game, but said the offense had to change.

“I don’t think it’s any secret we’ve got to fix that side of the ball,’’ Foley told media.

Muschamp agreed changes were coming at his post-game press conference Saturday. The Gators managed just three first downs in the first half against FSU.

Muschamp has referred to the offense as “inept’’ and said it was hurting his team’s defense, which has also faltered compared to other years. Injuries piled up on both sides of the ball from August until the end of the season.

Pease, said earlier in the week he hoped to have a chance to fix the issues, but realized the severity of the situation.

“If it’s coming my way, it’s coming my way,’’ he said at the time of his possible firing.