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Florida Gators Name Chris Couch 'Gamechanger Coordinator' for Special Teams

Billy Napier has created a new coaching position, the "Gamechanger coordinator," which has been filled by Chris Couch.

Photo: Chris Couch; Credit: University of Florida athletic association

The Florida Gators named Chris Couch their "Gamechanger coordinator" on Friday, the program announced. The label on Couch's position is unique, however, it means he will oversee the Gators' special teams units as he has done at previous stops. 

The role is defined as an analyst position, therefore, Couch will not count towards UF's ten-man team of on-field assistant coaches, which has already been filled out.

Couch spent the 2021 season with new Gators head coach Billy Napier at Louisiana as UL’s special teams coordinator and the director of quality control & analytics.

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Nationally, the Ragin’ Cajuns ranked No. 9 in net punting, tied for No. 10 in blocked kicks, No. 15 in punting average and No. 17 in kickoff return defense during Couch’s lone season at Louisiana. UL had the best kick return defense and net punting average while ranking fourth in kick return yardage across the Sun Belt with Couch leading the special teams unit.

Prior to his time with Napier at Louisiana, Couch spent the 2016-20 seasons at Tulane as the special teams analyst and recruiting coordinator, the 2015 season as the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at Point University, the 2013-14 seasons as a graduate assistant (defensive tackles and linebackers) at Georgia Southern and the 2012 season at Missouri Southern State as the slot backs coach.

Napier's approach with a "Gamechanger coordinator," understanding the nature of the position, is different than how special teams operated during the Dan Mullen era of Florida football. Couch will have control over special teams and solely focus on the unit, whereas, Mullen gave Greg Knox the special teams coordinator label over the last four years in addition to his responsibilities as running backs coach. 

Knox was assisted by former NFL All-Pro kicker Shayne Graham, creating an interesting dynamic that didn't exactly pan out as UF's special teams units struggled in 2021, ranking No. 12 in the SEC in kick return average, No. 10 in punt return average, No. 12 in field goal percentage and No. 7 in net yards per punt.

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