Report: Florida hires Alabama’s Austin Armstrong as DC

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Florida moved quickly Wednesday to hire Austin Armstrong as its defensive coordinator following the departure of Patrick Toney to the Arizona Cardinals, On3 reported.

The past month has been a whirlwind for Armstrong, who accepted the job at inside linebackers coach at Alabama last month but only was officially announced by coach Nick Saban nine days ago.

Prior to joining the Crimson Tide, Armstrong spent the past two years as defensive coordinator at Southern Miss, and he said all the right things when he was introduced at Alabama.

“Growing up in West Alabama the opportunity to coach at The University of Alabama is a dream come true,” Armstrong said, per USA Today. “I have admired what Coach Saban has built in Tuscaloosa and the long history of tradition and success this program has enjoyed. I am excited to get to work as we continue the legacy of success that is synonymous with Alabama football.”

A move to Florida would reunite Armstrong with Billy Napier, who hired Armstrong at Louisiana. When he moved onto Southern Miss after the 2020 season, Armstrong became the youngest defensive coordinator in the FBS at 28.

Napier didn’t confirm Armstrong’s hiring but did announce the departure of Toney to the Cardinals’ defensive staff.

“We would like to congratulate Patrick Toney on his new challenge & opportunity in the National Football League,” Napier said in a statement. “PT has been a pivotal part of our success over the last five years. He has set a great example and been a relentless worker and learner. He is a selfless teammate and one of the finest coaches and teachers we have ever been around.”

–Field Level Media

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