A pair of names have emerged for Florida’s defensive coordinator spot as Billy Napier begins to build his initial staff in Gainesville. According to 247Sports, Napier is eyeing Oklahoma State’s Jim Knowles or Houston’s Doug Belk for the position.

Knowles has been the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State since 2018 following 8 seasons at Duke. That followed a stint as the head coach of Cornell.  In 2021, the Cowboys are 3rd in FBS in total yards allowed, have allowed the 5th-fewest rushing yards and points per game in the country, and are just outside the top 10 in passing yards given up per game.

However, Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy stated a week and a half ago during an interview with FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt that he intended to ink Knowles to a long-term deal to keep him in Stillwater.

Belk came to Houston in 2019 after 2 years as the cornerbacks coach at West Virginia under Dana Holgorsen. After Holgorsen was hired as the Cougars’ head coach, Belk joined the staff as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach before adding associate head coach duties in 2020. In 2021, he retained his focus on safeties while being named the sole DC.

Under the guidance of Belk, the Cougars are 8th in rushing yards allowed and 6th in total yards yielded per game. They also rank in the Top 20 in FBS in both passing yards allowed and points allowed.