SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has lost another coach to Florida.
This time, however, it isn't the head honcho who is leaving to work with the Gators. It's offensive line coach Tim Davis.
The former Ute, who returned to his alma mater last season after coaching elsewhere following a 1990-96 stint as a Utah assistant, will now coach the offensive line at Florida.
Davis is reuniting with Gators head coach Will Muschamp. They worked together in 2005 with the Miami Dolphins.
In Florida's announcement of the hiring, Davis said he had hoped to join the staff in Gainesville when Muschamp was hired a year ago.
"It wasn't available then," Davis noted. "I told him, 'well, I'm going to be persistent. I'm going to keep trying.' I always wanted to work and coach in the SEC, especially with guys I know and have coached with."
Davis has worked with members of the current Florida staff for nine of his 25 years as an assistant. Besides Muschamp, he's coached with Derek Lewis (tight ends), Dan Quinn (defensive coordinator) and Brian White (running backs).
Leaving Utah, Davis explained, was easy because of those associations.
"You don't make a decision like this — leaving your home state and everybody you know — without having somebody you know," Davis said in the official announcement. "That's one of the things in coaching you can't do. You have to be able to connect yourself with the guys you work with."
And there's more to it.
"The SEC is the premiere conference in the country, and you get a chance to work with guys you've worked with who are very successful, very motivated, they want to be the best," Davis continued. You're working in a great environment and a great program like Florida. It's everything that you dream about."
Muschamp praised Davis for being a guy who brings energy and passion to work every day.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham also had kind words for Davis.
"We appreciate the contribution Tim Davis made to our program and we wish him well in his new position at Florida. With Tim's departure, Dan Finn will take over our offensive line," Whittingham said while calling the newly hired assistant an outstanding coach. "We still have one position left to fill on our staff and we will begin the search immediately. Our goal is to find the best fit for our program."
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company