Florida to hire Will Harris as Defensive Backs Coach

by | Dec 10, 2023 | 0 comments

Will Harris

The Florida Gators have hired Will Harris as defensive backs coach to replace Corey Raymond according to sources and as first reported from Gators Online.

Harris joined the LA Chargers after most previously serving as the defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Georgia Southern University in 2022. Under Harris’ direction in, Georgia Southern’s defensive unit ranked top-20 in the nation in red-zone defense, as four Eagles defenders earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors. Georgia Southern posted 11 interceptions and 65 pass break ups in the new system installed by Harris.

Before the last season, Harris spent four seasons at the University of Washington (2018-21). He worked with a secondary unit that included a defensive back who earned All-America recognition in each of the four years he coached the unit. In 2021, both corners earned Pac-12 first-team honors and Harris was named one of the “50 Rising-Star Position Coaches You Need To Know” by On3.com.

During his time at Washington, Harris coached several notable players, including Chiefs CB Trent McDuffie, Bears CB Kyler Gordon, Titans CB Elijah Molden, Cardinals CB Byron Murphy Jr., Patriots CB Myles Bryant, and Rams S Taylor Rapp. In his final season with the Huskies, the secondary helped the defense lead the country in the fewest touchdown passes allowed (six) and fewest passing yards allowed (1,720). In his first season as Washington’s defensive backs coach (2020), Harris was part of helping the Huskies improve from No. 56 nationally in pass defense in 2019 (222.2 yards per game) to No. 13 nationally and No. 1 in the Pac-12 (184.9 yards per game). In 2020, Harris helped coach the top defense in the Pac-12 in terms of total defense and passing yards allowed.

In 2019, Harris was an assistant defensive backs coach for UW and helped coach one of the strongest secondaries in the nation. A young group – three true freshmen who started at least five games each – played a high level. Molden earned first-team All-Pac-12, and senior Myles Bryant was a second-team selection. Despite the youth, the Huskies posted the No. 15 best scoring defense in the country, giving up less than 20 points per game.

In his first season in Seattle, Harris helped coach a defense that finished first in the Pac-12 in scoring and total defense for the fourth year in a row. The Huskies allowed just 16.4 points (fifth-best in the FBS) and 306.2 yards (12th best in the FBS) per game and were also in the top two in pass defense (both in terms of yards and efficiency) and rush defense.

Harris, who’s coaching journey that began in Snoop Dogg’s Snoop Youth Football League, went on to contribute on the coaching staffs at Northwestern Oklahoma State (2013), Humboldt State (2014), Dixie College (2015) and San Jose State (2016-17).

A native of Pasadena, Calif., Harris played collegiately at Southern California (2005-09), contributing on a Trojans team that appeared in four-straight Rose Bowls, including the 2005 BCS National Championship Game against Texas, winning each of the final three. Following his collegiate career, Harris spent time with the Seattle Seahawks (2010), before joining the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.

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