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Florida Gators Hire Patrick Toney as Co-DC, Safeties Coach

Billy Napier will officially bring Lousiana defensive coordinator Patrick Toney to Florida.

The Florida Gators have hired Patrick Toney as the team's co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, the program announced on Monday.

Toney previously worked alongside new head coach Billy Napier at Louisiana from 2018-21, spending the last two seasons as the Ragin' Cajuns' defensive coordinator in addition to coaching safeties (2018-20) and outside linebackers (2021).

Toney's defense finished tied for ninth in the FBS this season and first in the Sun Belt Conference in points allowed per game (18.3) and 36th nationally/fourth in the Sun Belt in yards allowed per game (345.1), a year removed from ranking 31st and 33rd nationally in those respective categories.

Toney also has experience coaching secondaries entirely as well as coordinator experience on special teams.

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Texas Tech reportedly targeted Toney as its next defensive coordinator after hiring Joey McGuire as head coach in November, but nothing came to fruition from that pursuit. 

RELATED: Napier talks vision with Gators, "army" of a support staff

It remains to be seen who Napier intends to hire alongside Toney as the Gators' co-defensive coordinator. However, he intends to hire a cornerbacks coach as well, continuing to split the secondary into two position groups as Dan Mullen did during his tenure as UF's head coach.

Prior to Toney's hiring, Florida announced the acquisition of Mark Hocke as the program's strength and conditioning director and associate head coach.

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