When Urban Meyer announced that was
quitting taking a leave of absence as Florida's head coach, the nation as a whole was introduced to Steve Addazio, UF's offensive coordinator and new interim coach. Addazio is going to do his best Alexander Haig impression for the time being and, depending on how things go, might find himself in control of his very own program one of these days. I mean, who knows how close he might have come to being Syracuse's head coach this time last year?
Syracuse fans should remember the impassioned letter than former Orangeman Rob Konrad wrote to DOC Gross and Nancy Cantor imploring them to consider Addazio for the open head coaching position. According to Konrad, Addazio fit all of the criteria necessary for the job:
Steve Addazio is currently the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Line Coach of the University of Florida. He coached at Syracuse 1995-98 before making stops at Notre Dame and Florida. Addazio began his career as a high school coach in Cheshire, CT and keeps many of the relationships of the past regime with the high school coaching element of the Northeast region. He has built a reputation as a tremendous recruiter and a passionate motivator who has become legendary for his pre-game speeches...I have not spoken to Steve Addazio since 1998, and I can't tell you if he's interested in the job. I can represent, with pure objectivity, that Steve Addazio is one of the most logical and qualified coaches to bring this once proud program back to life.
Addazio rose as high at 7th on the Syracuse Coaching Search Sexy-O-Meter but never seriously garnered consideration, at least as far as we know. To be unbiased for a moment, it looks like it might have worked out for him in the long run. Despite the extreme pressure of running the Florida football team, Addazio has a bit of a slack considering the Gators will be rebuilding and the situation is a bit of a mess. But if he is able to succeed, he'll put himself in prime position for a non-interim spot very soon.
Pete Thamel does his thing over at the NY Times with a solid profile piece on Addazio, who has had his fair share of criticism already:
Addazio, in his first year as the Gators’ offensive coordinator and in his fifth year on the staff, has been criticized by fans and on sports blogs for the offense’s performance this season. He said he had been able to endure the negativity directed toward him because he had seen enough highs and lows in coaching.
While he has been criticized on the outside, the love and respect for Addazio in the Florida program is palpable. When Addazio was announced as the interim coach Sunday, the Gators’ meeting room exploded with applause.