Gators Add Tiger Jones, Paul Silvestri to Football Staff

Tiger Jones was announced as the Gators director of speed improvement and skill development by head coach Billy Napier on Saturday while announcing Paul Silvestri‘s hiring as the team’s director of sports health.

Jones arrives at The Swamp after spending last season at Arizona as an assistant strength coach. He worked under Napier at Louisiana from 2018-20 in the role of assistant director of strength and conditioning after spending 2017 in the Texas A&M strength and conditioning department. Silvestri, who has been on staff with the Gators since 2013, will continue to oversee the football athletic training room and will work alongside recently hired associate director Tony Hill.

A native of Mobile, Ala., he played eight years in the Arena Football League (AFL) and was the Wide Receiver of the Year in 2011. Jones was a three-time First Team All-Arena selection and two-time second-team recipient. He finished his career with 1,041 receptions for 14,329 yards and 286 receiving touchdowns.

He played four seasons (2000-04) at Louisville as a wide receiver and played in 47 career games. Jones was a member of the Washington Football Team in 2005 and was in training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.

A native of Boca Raton, Fla., Silvestri has played a key role in navigating the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020 and 2021 football seasons.

Silvestri started his career with Florida Atlantic, where he spent three seasons (2003-05) as an athletic trainer. He then served as an assistant athletic trainer at Kentucky from 2007 to 2008.

Prior to the 2008 football season, Silvestri was hired as Utah’s head athletic trainer for football and spent five seasons in Salt Lake City before joining the Gators.

Silvestri graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science in 2000, and with a master’s of science in kinesiology from the University of Kentucky in 2003.