Pro Hockey News

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

College Football: Russ Callaway Named Gators Tight Ends Coach

 GAINESVILLE, Fla.- Gators head football coach Billy Napier named Russ Callaway Florida's new tight ends coach, it was announced Wednesday.

Callaway, 35, enters his second season with the Gators after joining the staff in 2022 in an off-the-field roles.

An experienced coach at the collegiate and NFL levels, Callaway arrived in Gainesville after spending the 2021 season with the New York Giants, serving as an offensive assistant, and the 2020 season as a senior offensive assistant and analyst at LSU. His resume also includes stints with at Alabama and Samford.

He spent five seasons at Samford where he served as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2016-19, while also coaching the wide receivers from 2015-17.

As a unit in 2018, Samford's offense led the FCS in passing yards per game (392.7). The offense also ranked fourth in the FCS in total offense (515.9 ypg.), and eighth in both red zone offense (.898) and in first downs (298). Meanwhile in 2017, the Bulldogs' offense led the SoCon and ranked fifth in the FCS in passing yards per game (33.4 ypg.).

In 2016, Callaway's offense ranked third among all FCS schools in passing offense, averaging 349.4 passing yards per game. They also ranked sixth in the FCS in red zone offense (90.2%), 11th in team passing efficiency (155.24), 12th in scoring offense (35.1 ppg.) and 14th in total offense (446.2 ypg.).

During his time with Samford, Callaway mentored quarterback Devlin Hodges, who earned the Walter Payton Award for the top offensive player in all of FCS football in 2018. Hodges passed for an FCS-record 14,584, breaking the old record set by Steve McNair.

Prior to Samford, Callaway spent two seasons on staff at Murray State, where he worked with the wide receivers, while also serving as the recruiting coordinator.

Callaway joined the Racers after winning back-to-back BCS National Championships as a defensive analyst on Nick Saban's staff at Alabama. In his role at UA, Callaway assisted defensive coordinator Kirby Smart with the inside linebackers.

He played collegiately as a quarterback at Valdosta State, where he was a two-time team captain. He joined the Blazers in 2007, helping the team to the school's second National Championship.

Callaway graduated from VSU in 2010 with a degree in business management.