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Potential Coach: Get to know Vance Bedford

There seems to be a nice game of Assistant Coach Domino's setting up around the final rumored to be on Manuals list. Florida Defensive Backs Coach Vance Bedford's name has been tossed around for the Buffalo job, so has Notre Dame's recently departed defensive coordinator Corwin Brown. Today Urban Meyer is rumored to have settled on replacing Charlie Strong from within presumably Bedford. If, however, Buffalo temps Bedford away from the Gators then it's likely that Corwin Brown will get a shot at Florida.

Bedford is only the second defensively oriented coach rumored to be on the 'short' list and as such, in my world, he has a better chance of being 'the guy' than fellow Gator coach Scot Loeffler.

Ward Manual continues to bring in candidates that would have been unthinkable 5 years ago, and the fact that the rumored list has only had one or two additions since the hunt began early last week shows that the Athletics department was far more prepared than some of the other schools looking for new coaches.

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Bedford was a four-year corner back for the University of Texas. He set a season record for pass breakups with 22 in 1981 and is currently fifth on UT’s career pass breakup list (47). A two-time All-Southwest Conference second team selection. Bedford had the opportunity to play in some high profile bowl games taking part twice in each the Cotton and Sun bowls. He was also awarded Most Valuable Player honors in the 1982 Senior Bowl All-Star game. After Texas he was drafted in the fifth round by the St. Louis Cardinals, he would play one season before moving over to the USFL as part of the Oklahoma Outlaws. After two professional seasons Bedford retired to coaching.

In 1985 Bedford began his coaching career at Forest Brook High School in Houston. He then moved into the collegiate ranks at Navarro Junior College in 1986. This makes him the only candidate, so far, to have notable experience at the high school level. He took his first position with a 'big time' program at Colorado State in 1987. Bedford was the Rams’ defensive backs’ coach under Earle Bruce for five seasons (1987-92). His 1990 secondary set a school record and led the nation with 25 interceptions.

He would coach with the bears for six years. He was the defensive backs’ coach for the Bears. Bedford was helped to develop corner back Jerry Azumah and R.W. McQuarters and safety Mike Green, as well as 2003 NFL Rookie of the Year Charles Tillman. Bedford’s secondary returned seven interceptions for touchdowns during a four-year stretch, equaling the team’s total from the previous nine seasons combined.

He then went on to Oklahoma State in 2004-2005 before moving on to WMU and eventually Florida. Under his tenure the UF secondary went from one of the country’s worst in 2007 to one of the nation’s best in 2008. Pass defense ranking improved from 98th in 2007 to 20th in 2008 and pass efficiency defense improved from 71st to number three in the country (96.7 rating).

Positives of Bedford:
  • Proven defensive mind
  • Experience at every level of coaching and playing
  • Recruiting roots in Florida
Negative of Bedford:
  • Other than a short Stint with OSU he has never been a coordinator
Would this be a good hire for UB?

Given the depth and breath of his resume, his anchor in Florida, and his ties to the Big12 and Big10 he is an exciting candidate. Though if I were going to go in the direction of a defensive coordinator I am not sure if he beats out Brown.