football Edit

Florida offensive line coach Summers headed to Louisville

The Gators will have a new offensive line coach in 2017, as it was officially announced Saturday afternoon that Mike Summers would be joining Louisville’s staff in the same capacity after three seasons with the Florida football program.

Summers, 60, was the lone holdover on Jim McElwain’s first staff, as he served as Will Muschamp’s offensive line coach in 2014. Following the 2015 season, Summers signed a two-year deal with Florida that paid him $498,500 annually.

Florida’s offensive line struggled in 2015 under Summers, allowing a nation-high 45 sacks, in large part due to inexperience and youth. In 2016, the group made gradual improvement under his watch – with players like Martez Ivey, Jawaan Taylor and T.J. McCoy emerging - but at times Florida’s interior run-blocking and pass protection were shaky.

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Summers’ recruiting ability was also an attribute of his that came into question during his time in Gainesville. The Gators could conceivably find an upgrade in that regard with a new hire, while the depth along the offensive line is much, much better than it was two years ago when Summers was retained.

Now, Florida will look to fill two coaching vacancies on its current staff, as Geoff Collins left to become Temple’s head coach and Randy Shannon was promoted to fill his vacancy. Summers wasn’t seen at Saturday’s Florida-Georgia basketball game with official visitors, but Randy Shannon, Kerry Dixon, Tim Skipper, Chris Rumph, Greg Nord and Torrian Gray were among the assistant coaches in attendance with players, families and support staffers.

Summers' former graduate assistant for the offensive line, Christian Pace, has left Florida to join Lafayette College as its running backs coach.

Among replacement options for Summers, Philadelphia Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is a name that has been rumored as an option to join Florida’s staff were Summers to ever leave. Stoutland, who was on the same staff as McElwain while at Alabama in 2011 – and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier in 2012 – has served as the Eagles’ offensive line coach for the past four seasons. Stoutland also served under Randy Shannon’s staff at Miami from 2007-10.

Stay tuned with Inside the Gators, as we follow this developing story.

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