Austin leaves Cardinals to become Florida's defensive coordinator

The University of Florida hired Arizona Cardinals defensive backs coach Teryl Austin as its defensive coordinator, the school announced Friday.

"I'm excited to join the Gator coaching staff," Austin said in a statement released by Florida. "I've watched from afar what this program is about -– winning championships with dynamic players and doing things the right way. Now, I'm honored to be a part of the program and a part of The Gator Nation. I look forward to getting to work with an outstanding group of players and a great coaching staff."

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Austin comes to Florida with 19 years of coaching experience, including 12 at the collegiate level and the past seven as an NFL assistant. He spent the last three years with the Cardinals and the previous four with the Seattle Seahawks. He helped lead both teams to the Super Bowl.

Austin also coached at Penn State (1991-92), Wake Forest (1993-95), Syracuse (1996-98) and Michigan (1999-2002). He replaces George Edwards, who left after a month to take the Buffalo Bills' defensive coordinator.

Austin worked alongside Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio at Syracuse and quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler at Michigan.

"It was important that we had some familiarity with Teryl as both Coach Addazio and Coach Loeffler had worked with him before," Florida coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. "He also comes highly recommended from my close friend, Bill Davis, the defensive coordinator of the Cardinals. It was also important that we hire a coach who is a great teacher, a great mentor and has the ability to be a great recruiter. Coach Austin has all of those qualities and beyond that is a good family man."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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