Led by head coach Billy Napier, the Florida Gators’ coaching staff for the 2023 college football campaign is now complete. Who makes up the rest of the Florida coaching staff that will assist Napier in his second season in charge in Gainesville?
Florida Gators Coaching Staff
Head Coach, Billy Napier
Following a successful tenure at Louisiana, where he turned the Rajin’ Cajuns into a perennial Sun Belt contender, Napier became the head coach of the Gators in November 2021. His appointment made him the 29th head coach in Florida history, joining historic names such as Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer.
Although Napier’s first season at the helm yielded a 6-7 record matching the final season of his predecessor Dan Mullen, the Gators added an extra conference win compared to the 2021 team. Meanwhile, a rushing attack led by Trevor Etienne, Montrell Johnson, and quarterback Anthony Richardson ranked third in the nation with 5.84 yards per carry.
Napier’s first head coaching role came at Louisiana in 2018. Taking over a program on a run of three consecutive losing seasons, Napier engineered a winning regular season before presiding over three double-digit win campaigns. He was twice named Sun Belt Coach of the Year and led Louisiana to a Sun Belt title in 2021.
Prior to landing his first head coaching role at Louisiana, Napier was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona State in 2017 — a role he also held at Clemson from 2009-2010. The Florida head coach has also held roles at Alabama, Colorado State, and South Carolina State after beginning his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Clemson in 2003.
Offensive Coordinator, Rob Sale
After serving under Napier as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for Louisiana between 2018 and 2020, Rob Sale was reunited with the Gators head coach when he joined Florida’s staff as the OC/OL coach in 2022.
A standout offensive lineman with 25 starts during his career at LSU, Sale took his offensive line expertise to McNeese State in 2012, having earned his first college coaching role as a strength and conditioning assistant and offensive analyst at Alabama.
Sale came to the Florida coaching staff following a season spent as an offensive line coach for the New York Giants. During his time in New York, he oversaw the development of 2020 first-round draft pick Andrew Thomas. Sale’s full college football coaching résumé can be found below.
- Alabama (Strength and conditioning assistant, offensive analyst, 2007-2011)
- McNeese State (OL coach, 2012-2013; co-offensive coordinator, 2014)
- Georgia (OL coach, 2015)
- Louisiana-Monroe (OL coach, 2016)
- Arizona State (OL coach, run game coordinator, 2017)
- Louisiana (OC/OL coach, 2018-2020)
- New York Giants (OL coach, 2021)
- Florida (OC/OL coach, 2022-2023)
Defensive Coordinator, Austin Armstrong
During his short coaching career that started with Division II West Georgia in 2016, Austin Armstrong has established himself as a producer of ferocious defensive units. He joins the Florida coaching staff for the 2023 campaign having held the same position at Southern Miss for the past two seasons.
As the youngest defensive coordinator in the FBS during the 2021 season with the Golden Eagles, Armstrong led a unit that ranked in the top 10 across several metrics. Southern Miss allowed the second-fewest first downs in the entire nation while ranking sixth for red-zone defense.
Armstrong’s inclusion on the Florida coaching staff for 2023 reunites him with Napier, who he worked for at Louisiana in 2018 and 2020 — the latter was his first coaching inside linebackers. Armstrong’s full CFB coaching résumé includes:
- West Georgia (assistant defensive line coach, 2016)
- Louisiana (defensive graduate assistant, 2017-2018)
- Georgia (defensive quality control coach, 2019)
- Louisiana (LBs coach, 2020)
- Southern Miss (DC and LBs coach, 2021-2022)
- Florida (DC, 2023)
Defensive Line Coach, Sean Spencer
Another convert to Florida’s staff from the Giants, Sean Spencer joined the Gators as co-defensive coordinator and DL coach ahead of the 2022 campaign. The experienced coach started his career at Shippensburg in 1996 and has had stints at Trinity, UMass, Holy Cross, Villanova, Hofstra, Bowling Green, Vanderbilt, and Penn State.
Running Backs Coach, Jabbar Juluke
Jabbar Juluke followed Napier to Florida as the running backs coach/associate head coach after serving as RBs coach for Louisiana. After a long career at the high school level, Juluke got his first college gig at Louisiana Tech in 2013, spending a season with LSU and Texas Tech before landing in Louisiana.
Juluke was the FootballScoop Running Backs Coach of the Year in 2019.
Secondary Coach, Corey Raymond
A former standout DB at LSU and in the NFL, Corey Raymond joined the Florida coaching staff as the secondary coach in 2022. Raymond is a renowned CBs coach who spent 10 years in Baton Rouge developing some of the top playmakers in the nation, including 2022 first-rounder Derek Stingley Jr. Raymond also coached at Utah State and Nebraska.
Inside Linebackers Coach, Jay Bateman
After serving as North Carolina’s defensive coordinator and safeties coach for three seasons, Jay Bateman joined Florida’s coaching staff as the inside linebackers coach in 2022. Bateman’s other coaching stops include Army, Ball State, Elon, Lehigh, Richmond, and Siena College. He went 5-35 as Siena’s head coach between 2000 and 2003.
Tight Ends Coach, Russ Callaway
A national championship-winning quarterback at Valdosta State as a player, Russ Callaway cut his coaching teeth as a defensive analyst under Nick Saban at Alabama. Stops at Samford, Murray State, and LSU led Callaway to the NFL, where he was an offensive assistant in 2021 before joining Florida’s staff in 2022. The upcoming season is his first as the tight ends coach.
Wide Receivers Coach, Billy Gonzales
The Florida coaching staff was completed in March 2023 with the appointment of Billy Gonzales as WRs coach. Gonzales previously held the position from 2018-2021, as well as spending five years in Gainesville in multiple roles from 2005. He began coaching wide receivers at MacMurray in 1994 and has worked at Kent State, Bowling Green, Utah, LSU, Illinois, Mississippi State, and FAU.
EDGE Coach, Mike Peterson
An inductee to the Florida Athletic Hall of Fame following a playing career with the Gators that included a national championship ring in 1996, Mike Peterson initially joined the Florida coaching staff in 2013 as an undergrad assistant following his NFL career. Peterson served as the South Carolina OLBs/DEs coach from 2016-2021 before returning to Florida.
Offensive Line Coach, Darnell Stapleton
After spending the 2021 campaign with Napier as Louisiana’s OL coach, Darnell Stapleton joined Florida in the same role in 2022. Stapleton also coached the offensive line at Montclair Kimberley Academy, Pace, Bucknell, and Sam Houston State while spending time as a graduate assistant coach at Rutgers from 2013-2014.