New York Giants offensive line coach Rob Sale is leaving to become the offensive coordinator for the Florida Gators, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.
Sale heads back to the SEC and reunites with new Florida coach Billy Napier, who he worked with at Arizona State and Louisiana. Sale was Napier’s offensive coordinator/offensive line coach at UL-Lafayette, where they set several school records on offense in 2019 and finished ranked in 2020.
Napier was hired to replace Dan Mullen last month at Florida. He signed a seven-year deal and expressed plans to hire an “unprecedented” support staff.
The Giants’ season concluded with a sixth straight loss on Sunday to Washington.
Sale leaves at a time when there is some uncertainty with the Giants coaching staff. New York (4-13) hasn’t yet made it official that coach Joe Judge will return for a third season.
Sale, who worked with Judge previously at Alabama, just finished his first NFL season. He dealt with a line that was devastated by injury early in the season.
Sale and Judge both declined to answer inquiries several weeks back about rumors surrounding a potential move to Florida.
The Giants hired Sale to replace Dave DeGuglielmo as their offensive line coach last offseason. They will now be looking for their fifth line coach in the past three years this offseason.
Sale, 42, was an offensive lineman at LSU from 1999 to 2002. He took his first college coaching job in 2007, as a strength and conditioning assistant and analyst with Judge at Alabama. He left Alabama in 2012 to coach the offensive line at McNeese State, and had the same role later at Georgia, Louisiana Monroe, Arizona State and Lafayette.
He was asked recently whether there was much of a difference coaching college and professional players.
“Nah, it’s all ball in my opinion,” Sale said. “It’s important to the players to invest in them as people, as persons. They all have the same issues no matter if you’re in college or the National Football League. We all have the same deals. You’ve still got the year-round plan that you have with these players getting them better over and over again and how you practice.
“One you pick your groceries and one you don’t.”
Sale will have some work to do in Florida. The Gators went 6-7 overall and 2-6 in the SEC this past season.