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Lobo football: UNM assistant leaves for Florida

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The University of New Mexico is losing assistant football coach Coleman Hutzler to Florida, Lobos head coach Bob Davie confirmed Thursday night.

“I want to thank Coleman for his contributions to build this program,” Davie said in a news release. “He is a talented coach and I know he will continue to have success. I wish him the best of luck moving forward.”

The Journal was unable to reach Hutzler for comment.

Hutzler is the second assistant coach to leave the program since the Lobos’ 3-9 season ended Nov. 30. Jeff Mills, the defensive coordinator and secondary coach, was fired the next week.

Footballscoop.com was the first to report Hutzler’s move Thursday, followed by coachingsearch.com.

According to online reports, Hutzler would replace Jeff Choate as outside linebackers coach and special-teams coordinator, the same positions Hutzler held at UNM the past two seasons, at Florida.

Speculation is that Choate, who coached at Boise State under Chris Petersen from 2006-11, will rejoin Petersen at Washington. Petersen recently hired Brent Pease as his wide receivers coach. Pease, who also worked for Petersen at Boise State, was fired recently as Florida’s offensive coordinator.

Hutzler, 29, was among the first coaches hired by Davie in assembling his UNM staff. Hutzler’s work with special teams drew considerable praise from Davie.

This season, kick returner Carlos Wiggins ranked fifth in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision with an average of 29.6 yards per return. Wiggins was the only FBS player to return three kickoffs for touchdowns.

Punter Ben Skaer ranked seventh nationally with an average of 45.8 yards per attempt.

Hutzler came to Albuquerque from Florida, where he had been a defensive and special teams assistant during the 2010-11 seasons.

Hutzler began his college coaching career in 2006 as a defensive assistant at the University of San Diego under coach Jim Harbaugh. Hutzler then moved with Harbaugh to Stanford, where he worked for three years as a recruiting assistant and a defensive and special teams assistant.

At Stanford and then at Florida, Hutzler worked for four years with current Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin.

A native of Las Vegas, Nev., Hutzler played college football at Middlebury (Vt.) College from 2002-05.

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