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Florida Finalizes Hiring of Ron Roberts to Occupy Multiple Roles

Former Auburn defensive coordinator Ron Roberts will join the Gators' staff in 2024 as Florida's inside linebackers coach, co-defensive coordinator and executive head coach.

UPDATE: Florida announced its hiring of Ron Roberts as the Gators' inside linebackers coach, co-defensive coordinator and executive head coach on Tuesday, finalizing a move that was originally reported on Jan. 8. 

Terms of Roberts' contract with UF were not immediately available. 

Roberts joins UF following one season as Auburn's defensive coordinator and 33 years of previous coaching experience. He'll replace Jay Bateman as the team's inside linebacker coach after Bateman left Florida to become Texas A&M's defensive coordinator in December. 

"We are excited to add one of the best football minds in all of college football to our staff in Ron Roberts," UF head coach Billy Napier said in a statement released by UF. 

"Ron is a great teacher and leader, and he has consistently produced and developed quality defensive players and units. His familiarity with our process and veteran experience as a coordinator and head coach will be great for the staff. It's my honor to welcome him and his wife, Didi, to Gator Nation." 

Learn more about Roberts' hiring and coaching background from All Gators' initial reporting below. 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida is set to hire former Auburn defensive coordinator Ron Roberts to oversee the Gators' inside linebacker position, All Gators can confirm. 

The move will reunite Roberts with Billy Napier, Florida's current head coach, after the duo spent two seasons together at Louisiana from 2018-19, with Roberts handling defensive coordinator duties under Napier at the time. 

Roberts will replace Jay Bateman, who bolted from Florida's inside linebacker coaching position to coordinate the defense at Texas A&M in Dec. 2023. 

The 56-year-old Roberts brings 33 years of coaching experience to Gainesville, notably including stints with Baylor and Auburn of late. 

With the Tigers, Roberts helped improve the SEC's No. 12-ranked scoring defense and No. 9-ranked total defense from 2022 by allowing 6.9 points and 38.1 yards fewer per game in 2023, boosting Auburn to No. 7 in the former category compared to the season prior.

His three years in Waco, Texas, proved to be some of the most successful of his coaching career, as he helped lead the Bears to a Big 12 Championship title in 2021. 

During the campaign, the defense catalyzed Baylor's success, leading the conference in interceptions (19), turnovers gained (27), turnover margin (0.93) and defensive touchdowns (3). Additionally, the Bears finished second in the Big 12 run defense (118.4 YPG), scoring defense (18.3 PPG), pass efficiency defense (121.54) and sacks per game (3.14). 

Baylor also held every opponent below 30 points, just one of three teams in the FBS to do so. 

Roberts will also take on the role of co-defensive coordinator, a position previously occupied by former Gators defensive line coach Sean Spencer, who was dismissed in Nov. 2023. He’ll also command an executive head coach — defense title in Gainesville.

Roberts is the third hiring to Florida's on-field defensive coaching staff this offseason, after as many departures. Secondary coach Corey Raymond was let go alongside Spencer in November; the assistants were replaced by Will Harris and Gerald Chatman, respectively. 

Find Roberts' coaching history in full below. 

  • 2023: Auburn – Defensive Coordinator 
  • 2020-22: Baylor – Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach
  • 2018-19: Louisiana – Defensive Coordinator 
  • 2012-17: Southeastern Louisiana – Head Coach 
  • 2007-11: Delta State – Head Coach
  • 2005-06: Delta State – Defensive Coordinator
  • 2004: Visalia (Calif.) Mt. Whitney High School – Head Coach
  • 2003: Texas State – Defensive Coordinator
  • 1998-2002: Tusculum – Defensive Coordinator 
  • 1997: Greensboro – Defensive Coordinator 
  • 1994-96: Ridgecrest (Calif.) Burroughs High School – Head Coach
  • 1990-93: Germantown (Tenn.) Houston High School – Defensive Coordinator

This is a breaking news story that will be updated. 

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