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Florida Gators hiring Will Harris as secondary coach

On3 imageby:Zach Abolverdi12/10/23


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Billy Napier is hiring LA Chargers assistant secondary coach Will Harris, multiple sources confirm to Gators Online. He will be coaching UF’s defensive backs and begins his new job this week.

Harris will work his final game with the Chargers on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. On3 four-star defensive backs Gregory Smith and Jameer Grimsley both said they’ve been informed about Harris following their official visits to UF.

Gators Online first reported last Tuesday that Harris had interviewed for the job opening and was a lead candidate to replace former secondary coach Corey Raymond, who Napier parted ways with on Nov. 27.

Harris, 36, is in his first season with the Chargers after being hired in April. Prior to that, he spent 10 years working up the college ranks after playing defensive back at Southern California from 2005-09. He was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for Georgia Southern in 2022 following four seasons coaching Washington’s defensive backs (2018-21).

At Georgia Southern, Harris led a defense that ranked second in the FBS in red zone stops (15) and was in the top 20 nationally in red zone defense. The Eagles posted 11 interceptions and 65 pass break ups under Harris’s system in 2022.

In 2021, the Washington defense led the FBS in fewest passing yards allowed and only gave up six total TD passes. Harris developed two first-team Pac-12 selections in Trent McDuffie and Kyler Gordon, the only cornerbacks from a Power 5 school to both earn an 85+ grade from PFF. McDuffie was a first-round pick and Gordon was second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

In 2020, Harris helped the Huskies rank first in the Pac-12 in total defense and passing yards allowed, also finishing 13th nationally in the latter category. Harris coached and developed an All-American at Washington every season from 2018-2021, including a pair in 2018 in Taylor Rapp and Byron Murphy Jr.

Harris, who played for Pete Carroll at USC, has coached 12 all-conference defensive backs throughout his college coaching career at the FBS level. A 10-year veteran, he comes from the Chris Petersen and Jimmy Lake coaching tree.

Prominent players coached by Will Harris

Trent McDuffie (CB): Kansas City Chiefs – 2022 NFL Draft, 1st Round.
Byron Murphy Jr. (CB): Minnestoa Vikings – 2022 NFL Draft, 2nd Round.
Kyler Gordon (CB): Chicago Bears – 2022 NFL Draft, 2nd Round.
Taylor Rapp (CB): Buffalo Bills – 2019 NFL Draft, 2nd Round.
Elijah Molden (CB): Tennessee Titans – 2021 NFL Draft, 3rd Round.
Keith Taylor (CB): Kansas City Chiefs – 2021 NFL Draft, 5th Round.
Andre Chachere (CB): Arizona Cardinals – 2018, UDFA

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