28 Jun. 1981|
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Florida's game against East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl was still a few hours away, but Dave Houts, longtime director of video services for the University Athletic Association, began to set up shop high above the field, dressed in his orange-and-blue Gators gear to protect him from the elements and armed with his video camera. Coincidentally, the last time Florida played a bowl game in Birmingham -- in fact, the only time prior to Saturday -- was the last time Houts wasn't shooting video of a Florida football game for the coaching staff to review and use a coaching tool.
Over that span Houts has worked for head coaches Galen Hall, Gary Darnell, Steve Spurrier, Ron Zook, Charlie Strong, Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp, and for his final game, Florida interim head coach D.J. While the Florida football program is in a transition period with new head coach Jim McElwain set to take over day-to-day operations this week, there are many comings and goings. For the 69-year-old Houts, the decision to leave his post came long before any coaching change.
The technology and methods have changed over the years, but not Houts' passion for the Gators.
While working with the football program was his most visible role, Houts has also served as longtime videographer for the baseball team and works directly with video coordinators for all of UF's athletic programs. They plan to return to Gainesville for the winters, a place they have called home since the late 1970s when Houts first started helping out around the football program on a freelance basis.
Houts joined the UAA full-time at the start of the 1989 season and on Saturday, shot video at his 328th consecutive game. 9, 1989 -- Houts has watched and recorded the best moments in the program's long history, including three national championships.
A native of Pontiac, Mich., Houts and wife Beth will then pack and spend much of their future together in a summer home in Kalamazoo, Mich.