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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Gators move on from defensive coordinator Grantham, offensive line coach Hevesy

Both coaches had been with Florida since 2018

Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, pictured Oct. 30 during the Gators game against Georgia, and offensive line coach John Hevesy were let go by the team Sunday, according to multiple reports.
Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, pictured Oct. 30 during the Gators game against Georgia, and offensive line coach John Hevesy were let go by the team Sunday, according to multiple reports.

The Florida Gators let go of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy Sunday, according to multiple reports — first broken by The Athletic.

The University Athletic Association was not available for comment as of Sunday.

Grantham joined the Florida staff in 2018 and had his best season in 2019, when the Gators defense allowed just 15.5 points and 306.6 yards per game — the second-best marks in the SEC and top-10 nationally. Grantham’s coaching career began at Virginia Tech in 1990, and he saw stints at Michigan State, Georgia, Louisville, Mississippi State and the NFL.

Hevesy, meanwhile, has also been with the team since 2018 and has coached alongside Florida head coach Dan Mullen since their stint at Bowling Green began in 2001. The duo coached together during the golden years of the Gators, beginning in 2005. He moved to Mississippi State with Mullen in 2009 and stayed until 2017, when both coaches returned to Gainesville. 

Allowing 459 yards to the Gamecocks seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for Grantham’s Gators tenure. Florida’s defense under Grantham has long been criticized by media and fans alike. The 2021 version allowed 25.5 points per game to SEC opponents. Over the Gators’ last three games, they surrendered 40 points to South Carolina, 34 to Georgia and 49 to Louisiana State. 

The run defense appeared especially suspect. South Carolina tallied 284 yards on the ground Saturday, while LSU’s equally poor rushing offense bullied Florida to the tune of 321 rushing yards on Oct. 16. Tigers running back Tyrion Davis-Price broke the school’s single-game record for rushing yards, barreling his way for 287 yards on 36 carries.

Fans clamored for Grantham’s removal after last season, when Florida’s historic offense — 39.8 points per game — was hindered by an equally unimpressive defense. The 2020 unit allowed 30.8 points per game, including five games over 30 points and three games over 50 points. 

The performance against Alabama in the 2020 SEC Championship Game will forever live in Florida fans memories. The Gators gave up 52 points to the Crimson Tide, allowing Heisman finalist Mac Jones to toss for 418 yards and five touchdowns while current Steelers running back Najee Harris ran for 178 yards and two scores.

Mullen did not comment on any coaching changes after Saturday’s loss to South Carolina saying he needed to evaluate.

Contact Michael Hull at mhull@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Hull33.

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Michael Hull

Michael Hull is a third-year journalism major with a specialization in sports & media. He has a minor in business and leadership and is a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars fan.


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