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Jeff Choate heads to Florida after just a few months at UTEP

The former WSU linebackers coach made his stay in El Paso short as Will Muschamp lured him to Gainesville.


Sometimes, this is how fast things change in the college football coaching ranks: After just a few months as the defensive coordinator at UTEP, former WSU linebackers coach Jeff Choate has left the Miners before ever coaching in a game to take an unspecified position with at Florida.


Coaching dominoes can fall at odd times, and that's precisely what happened when Florida defensive line coach Bryant Young -- yes, that Bryant Young for NFL fans of a certain age -- resigned his position on April 10. Suddenly, the Gators were in the market for a coach. Will Muschamp tabbed Choate.

Since these things tend to be a who-knows-who proposition (especially on short notice), it's important to look for the connection. And in this case, one need look no further than Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who coached with Choate at Boise State from 2006 to 2011.

If it seems odd that Choate would leave UTEP so quickly, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, when Choate came to WSU from Boise State, he made no bones about the fact that he was trying to advance his career, which he felt had maxed out with Chris Petersen and the Broncos. So when new UTEP coach Paul Kugler chose Choate to be his defensive coordinator, it made a lot of sense for him to go, even if he was moving to a lower conference again. This time, moving from El Paso to the SEC is a step up, no matter what your title is.

Second, in coaching, timing is everything. If you pass up an opportunity, you never know when another will come around. So Choate smartly seized this one.

It's unknown if Choate will assume the defensive line vacancy, or if there will be some shuffling on the staff. Choate is well known for his special teams prowess -- he teamed with WSU special teams coordinator Eric Russell to transform that unit last year.