A phone call and a job offer from Dan Mullen on a Thursday night led to a conversation with USF head coach Jeff Scott on Friday morning. Mullen had phoned Jules Montinar, the USF Bulles recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach, to offer him the cornerbacks coaching job at Florida. Montinar jumped at the opportunity and the next 24 hours were a blur.
“I got offered the job on Thursday night. Friday morning, I told my head coach, Jeff Scott, that I was accepting the job,” Montinar recalled. “Jon Clark (Florida Assistant Athletics Director of Football Operations) called me around noon to say, ‘Hey, Coach Mullen wanted me to check with you. We’ve got a 10 a.m. team meeting up here in Gainesville. Why don’t you come up and introduce yourself to the team?’ So in my mind, yeah, I’ve got nothing to do. Let me come up and introduce myself. I got here about 9:30, met Jon Clark, met Coach Mullen. They took me around the facilities, showed me the locker room, showed me my office.”
“I was in the locker room, he said, ‘Hey, here’s your locker. There’s gear in it.’ I was like, oh, should I put the gear on? They’re like, yeah, go ahead and put it on. I put the gear on, walked outside and that was about 9:55. Next thing you know, the team’s out there in The Swamp. Coach Mullen, you know, reaches out to me to introduce myself in front of the team. Ten minutes later, I was in the middle of a workout with the cornerbacks.”
Just like that Montinar was already coaching and getting acclimated to a new team, new players, and a new system but he has experience in the SEC. MOntinar spent the 2019 season as an analyst with the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia went 12-2 in that season. He also spent two years as a graduate assistant at Alabama. The phone call from Dan Mullen will be his biggest opportunity as a football coach and he has a very young cornerbacks room.
Montinar’s philosophy for getting young players ready is to throw them right into the mix.
“They’re not going to learn by standing next to me. So we’ve got to get them out there, we’ve got to get them reps. We’ve got to get them in the situations, that’s the only way they’re going to learn.”
Montinar has the luxury of having an All-SEC type of player in Kaiir Elam but he will be measured by the job he does of getting the younger players ready. This isn’t Texas State anymore.
“This is a tough league and nobody feels sorry for you. We play a tough position at the cornerback position and we’re going to have to mature early,” Montinar said. “The good news is we’ve got Kaiir, and Jaydon has got some experience and then the young guys, they’ve done a really nice job of answering the bell and really competing and learning the defense.”