Marotti, the director of strength and conditioning, came to Florida in 2005 when Meyer was hired and has known him for at least 20 years. The two were graduate assistants at Ohio State in the late 1980s, and Meyer and Marotti coached together at Notre Dame in the late 1990s.
Marotti remained on staff after Meyer resigned in Dec. 2010 and was widely respected by the players.
On Tuesday, offensive lineman Ian Silberman tweeted, “I hate that text I just got. #missmick”
After Muschamp confirmed the news on Sunday, former Florida tackle Marcus Gilbert tweeted, “im def ginna miss coach Marotti.”
Muschamp said he would take some time to find a replacement for Marotti.
“That’s a critical hire. Mickey did a great job at the University of Florida and I appreciate his efforts,” Muschamp said. “But again, we need to get stronger. We need to get physically and more mentally tough, and it starts there in the weight room. That’s a critical hire for me.”
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said Wednesday on the Open Mike radio show that he didn’t expect current assistants to leave for Ohio State. Muschamp said the rest of the coaching staff remains intact, but some on the staff “have other options, have other opportunities.” He did not clarify what those were and if they were at Ohio State or elsewhere.
Since Meyer’s hiring on Dec. 5, reports have stated current Florida linebackers coach D.J. Durkin and receivers coach Aubrey Hill could be headed to Columbus.