As Jim McElwain looks around at his coaching staff when Spring practice starts today, he’ll notice very little difference.
Outside of Torrian Gray, who McElwain hired to be Florida’s newest defensive backs coach on Feb. 4 in favor of Kirk Callahan, last season’s coaching staff remains completely intact.
And considering defensive coordinator Geoff Collins and linebackers coach Randy Shannon were considered for coaching positions away from Gainesville, McElwain is pleased to have the full staff on board for his second season.
"We had a lot of guys come after some of our guys," McElwain said Tuesday. "I’m really excited that they chose to stay, because that means they feel good about the direction we’re headed."
McElwain said having continuity among a coaching staff from year to year is critical for success.
"Teams that have sustainable success don’t always have a lot of turnover," he said. "They have some, but not like major turnover. I’m excited they’re back, I know that."
Injured starters: In addition to the suspensions of Treon Harris and Antonio Callaway, two of Florida’s starters on offense last season will also be off the practice field this spring.
McElwain said wide receiver Brandon Powell (foot) and offensive lineman Martez Ivey (shoulder) will be out for practice as they recover from post-season surgeries.
Linebacker Alex Anzalone, who missed the bulk of last season with a shoulder injury, will only participate in non-contact drills during practice.
Defensive back Quincy Wilson and defensive lineman Joey Ivie will also be limited following sports hernia surgery.
Harbaugh in Florida? OK with Mac: The last time McElwain saw Jim Harbaugh in Florida, Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines left the Citrus Bowl in Orlando with a 41-7 victory over the Gators.
Harbaugh returned to the Sunshine State last week, hosting practices at Bradenton’s IMG Academy, a private athletic training institute.
While Harbaugh’s tactics have received backlash from Southeastern Conference coaches and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, McElwain wholeheartedly endorsed Harbaugh’s actions.
"I kind of look it as more power to him. It’s totally legal," McElwain said. "He’s not doing anything that’s illegal. He’s pressing the envelopes, he’s putting their name in the paper every day. … I mean I’d come to Florida, too. There’s great players here, right? There’s a reason every school in the country comes here and recruits."