Photo: Rob Sale; Credit: Alex Shepherd
When Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier was introduced as the team's next head coach, he promised the Gator Nation an "army" when describing his incoming coaching staff.
The staff would consist of assistants who have gotten recognition around the college football world as some of the best in the game.
"We're going to hire an army of people here," Napier said on Dec. 5 last year. "We're going to create an infrastructure not only in the personnel department but also from an on-campus recruiting, creative media, name, image and likeness. We're going to create -- we've got a great vision for the organization that we're going to create here."
Napier, of course, was referring not only to the assistant coaches that he would eventually lock-in but also to the enormous support staff - comprised of 48 individuals that were eventually brought on to help build out the staff.
With that said, over the next couple of weeks, we at AllGators will be releasing profiles to get to know each assistant coach, including their background, recruiting history, quotes and more.
Next up, we go to yet another one of Napier's right-hand men in offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Rob Sale, one of two offensive line coaches on the Florida staff this year.
Sale, 42, was hired onto Napier's staff on Jan. 11 just following the NFL's regular season.
Prior to joining the Gators, Sale coached in the big leagues with the New York Giants for a year. His connection with Napier goes back to his time at Arizona State, however, while Napier was the program's offensive coordinator, Sale was the team's offensive line coach and running game coordinator (2017).
The veteran coach would begin his career at the prep level, coaching the offensive line at Catholic HS of Pointe Coupee (La). He'd be there for just one season, though, joining his former college coach, Nick Saban, at Alabama as the team's strength and conditioning assistant and offensive analyst (2007-11).
Sale played for Saban for three years from 2000-02 while the czar of college football was the Tigers' HC.
Looking to get a bit of a promotion, Sale would venture off to McNeese State as the team's offensive line coach (2012-13) and co-offensive coordinator and OL coach (2014) before jumping back into the Power Five with Georgia as the team's OL coach in 2015.
Following the termination of Georgia's Mark Richt, Sale would go back to his roots in Louisiana, joining Louisiana-Monroe as the team's OL coach for a year in 2016.
Sale's history as a recruiter isn't extensive, but his coaching experience in both the NFL and within the SEC for a time should be an enticing factor in players coming to Florida. He's already landed a couple of OL commits for the university in 2023 offensive linemen Knijeah Harris (IMG Academy, Fla.) and Bryce Lovett (Rockledge, Fla.) that will be expected to take on roles at some point during their careers.
During the 2022 recruiting cycle, Sale held onto a UF pledge from Eastside (Ga.) OL Jalen Farmer, who enrolled this month after considering Alabama at the end of his recruitment.
Sale's coaching history also brings a lot to the table as he was with Florida OL O'Cyrus Torrence, who transferred to the university in part due to Sale and Napier's presence on the team.
Florida will be sure to hope that Sale's best recruiting efforts are in front of him now that he's the OL coach of a big-time football program. Though he is the OC by name only - Napier will ultimately call the plays - his presence in that department shouldn't be understated, either.
How it's going:
As alluded to earlier, Sale was a major reason why Torrence, potentially one of the top guards in the country this year, transferred to Florida in the first place. Now, he looks to continue building the program up and is currently leading the way in Florida recruiting, landing two big-time prospects over the last few weeks.
Florida is also in on one of the top tackles in the country in Dr. Phillips (Fla.) OT Payton Kirkland. He's expected to visit the program on June 10 and will be announcing his commitment on July 23.
Though it's early, Florida seems to be turning the tide on landing OL recruits, something they struggled to do during the previous regime's reign under HC Dan Mullen and OL coach John Hevesy.
"Rob Sale was at the Giants and when he has the opportunity to help bring me on here I just talked to those guys about it and he’s been everything they’ve talked about. He’s a standup guy. I call him a superstar. The guy doesn’t miss a beat. I mean not a beat. He sees everything. He knows the big picture. He’s a good guy for me to be around and to be mentored by.” - Gators DL coach Sean Spencer on Sale.
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