Florida Football: Who is UNLV offensive coordinator Brennan Marion?

As Gator fans ponder if Billy Napier is going to hire an offensive coordinator, Brennan Marion's name was getting tossed around a bunch of social media last night.
UNLV Football Spring Showcase
UNLV Football Spring Showcase / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

One narrative that has taken hold this offseason is the reality that Billy Napier is going to take his time to fill spots on the Florida football staff. He took his time in hiring Will Harris to be the defensive backs coach and in hiring Gerald Chatman to coach the defensive line.

One of the bigger mysteries is whether or not he will hire an offensive coordinator, and one name being tossed around by Gator fans is Brennan Marion, out of UNLV.

But who is Marion and would he be a good fit in Gainesville?

Florida Football: Go Go Gators

We are going to stress this upfront, much like the profile we did on Willy Korn, there is no official report that Marion is slated to get hired as Florida's OC. But based on social media reaction last night during UNLV's bowl game against Kansas, he has emerged as someone high on the wish list of many fans.

Marion started off as a wide receiver for Tulsa during the 2006 and 2007 campaigns. During his time there, he only knew how to make big plays. Marion racked up 2,356 receiving yards in two seasons off just 82 catches for an astounding 28.7 yards per catch.

The 31.9 yards per catch he had in 2007 are an NCAA record according to SportsReference.Com.

At 36 years old, Marion has already had quite the coaching journey. He started off in high school, first with Saint Patrick Saint Vincent in California then Waynesboro High School in Pennsylvania. From there he had stops at Arizona State, Oklahoma Baptist, Howard, William and Mary, Hawaii, Pittsburgh, and Texas before becoming the offensive coordinator at UNLV this season.

Marion is noted for implementing the GoGo Offense, which most notably will create imbalanced formations such as putting two running backs in the backfield on the same side of the QB. When he debuted his offense at Howard, the Bison pulled off a historic win over UNLV in 2017 despite being 45 point underdogs.

Much like Florida's offense under Billy Napier, UNLV didn't rely on deep shots this season. UNLV only threw the ball past 20 yards 51 times this season while attemping 141 passes between zero to nine yards. Florida only went deep 40 times and attempted 124 short passes.

UNLV did utilize play action far more than the Gators in 2023, 44% vs 35%. The other big difference, perhaps because of play action, was their willingness to work medium-depth routes. UNLV attempted passes between 10 and 19 yards 94 times in 2023, whereas the Gators only attempted 68 passes of that depth.

With his GoGo Offense, UNLV was 22nd in the country in points per play and 21st in points per game. This is despite the fact that UNLV had somewhat pedestrian rushing numbers despite the triple option ability of the offense.

Now What?

The bigger smoke has been around Korn, Liberty's offensive coordinator. The Flames are set to take on Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. Given Napier's previous working relationship with Korn, he feels like the betting favorite.

And as we said up front, Marion's name, like Korn, is merely being floated right now as a wish list item for Gator fans.

It must be noted too that if Napier is to hire an offensive coordinator he is going to have to let go of another assistant coach. Given that Florida employs two offensive line coaches, Darnell Stapleton would feel like the low man on the totem pole to be let go if Napier needed to make room.

But keep in mind as well that there is zero guarantee that Napier is going to hire an OC. He might firmly believe based on how November went that the offense wasn't the problem in 2023.

We here at Hail Florida Hail would argue that getting an OC would be the right move simply because it would free Napier up to handle game management aspects that have been lacking under his tenure.

But much like his other staff hires, we have a feeling if Napier does have someone in mind, Napier is going to hire that person on his timeline and not the timeline of fans.

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