Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF's Fedora to Join Zook at Illinois; Meyer Will Hire New Offensive Coordinator; 3 Other UF Assistants Expected to Accompany Zook

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF's Fedora to Join Zook at Illinois; Meyer Will Hire New Offensive Coordinator; 3 Other UF Assistants Expected to Accompany Zook

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO and GENE FRENETTE, The Times-Union

GAINESVILLE -- After learning from new Florida coach Urban Meyer Wednesday morning that he intended to hire another offensive coordinator, Larry Fedora accepted an offer to become Ron Zook's offensive coordinator at Illinois.

"I felt like this was the best opportunity for me and my family at this time in my career," Fedora told the Times-Union after informing Zook of his decision. "The situation was too good to pass up. It's a great opportunity at Illinois. The people are excited about Ron Zook coming there.

"I know what kind of coach he is and what he expects of me. I'm excited to get out there and get going."

Fedora isn't the only UF assistant who will head north with Zook. Secondary coach Dan Disch will also go to Illinois, a source close to the situation said. Offensive line coach Joe Wickline and linebackers coach Bill Miller also are likely to join Zook after the Peach Bowl, the source added.

It's undetermined if UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, who will serve as the Gators interim head coach for the Peach Bowl, and running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Mike Locksley will remain at Florida or join Zook.

A source said both coaches were asked by Meyer to stay, though it's unclear in what capacity.

Fedora, who came to Florida with Zook in 2002 as the perimeter-game coordinator, was promoted to offensive coordinator last year. In his only season at UF in that capacity, the Gators led the Southeastern Conference in total offense, passing yards and third-down conversions.

While Fedora hoped to remain at Florida with Meyer, whom he had never met before until Wednesday, he knew that without a previous relationship, it was a long shot.

"I met with Urban [Wednesday] morning. We had a very good meeting and he told me he was going in a different direction," Fedora said. …

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