Will Muschamp hired by Florida

Will Muschamp photographed in March 2006 in Auburn, Ala.

Photo by Todd J. Van Emst/Associated Press file

Will Muschamp photographed in March 2006 in Auburn, Ala.

AUSTIN, Texas — Will Muschamp spent 10 years in Gainesville as a kid, graduated from Georgia and coached at Auburn and LSU.

He knows Florida.

He knows the Southeastern Conference.

For the Gators, that outweighed his lack of head-coaching experience.

Florida hired the former Texas defensive coordinator on Saturday night, handing him one of the premier jobs in college football and giving him the tough tasks of following Urban Meyer and rebuilding the Gators after a disappointing 7-5 season.

“This is a dream come true,” Muschamp said in a statement. “I grew up watching the Gators and whatever other SEC team was on television. I have great memories watching SEC football with my father on Saturdays and playing football in the back yard with my two brothers right here in Gainesville.”

Muschamp will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday evening.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said he targeted Muschamp shortly after Meyer resigned Wednesday and he was the only person to whom Foley offered the job.

Foley said Muschamp’s familiarity with the SEC was an important factor.

“We wanted a candidate who was high energy and had been on the big stage,” Foley said in a statement. “We wanted a candidate who was respected by his players and his peers, and we wanted someone who had a passion for the University of Florida. Coach Muschamp is all of those things and more.”

The timing of the announcement raised some eyebrows. Did the Gators plan the announcement to coincide with the Heisman Trophy ceremony? Former Florida quarterback Cam Newton, now Auburn’s offensive star, won the award a little more than two years after he left Gainesville in the midst of cheating allegations and following his arrest on a theft charge.

The hire also was met with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Some raved about Muschamp’s background and his fiery demeanor. Others questioned whether a longtime assistant coach would be the right fit for one of the nation’s elite programs.

Meyer, however, applauded the hire.

“Coach Muschamp is a great hire for the University of Florida,” Meyer said in a statement. “He is a relentless recruiter and brings a tremendous amount of energy and passion to the game. I would run into him on the road often on the recruiting trail and have always been impressed with him as a coach and a person.”

Meyer walked away from the job Wednesday, four days after he called Foley and said he was contemplating the move, and left about $20 million guaranteed on the table.

This season the Gators were near the bottom the SEC in every offensive category, got blown out by Alabama, South Carolina and Florida State, and finished 7-5. It was the most losses in Meyer’s 10-year coaching career.

Several freshmen transferred, others threatened to leave and there seemed to be a huge divide between the team’s underachieving seniors and Meyer’s highly touted newcomers. Players refused to point fingers, but there were outcries for personnel and assistant coaching changes. There also was another arrest, the 30th involving 27 players during Meyer’s tenure.

Muschamp will try to turn things around.

He was already one of the hottest names among assistant coaches when he was hired at Texas before the 2008 season.

Internet video clips of his expletive-filled tirades on the sidelines at Auburn excited Longhorns fans. He had alternate nicknames of “Coach Boom!” for his noted enthusiasm and “Coach Blood” because he once ignored blood pouring down his face after a cut in the first game of the 2008 season.

Muschamp was only 11 games into his stint at Texas when the university surprisingly announced a deal to nearly double his salary to $900,000 and make him the head-coach-in-waiting behind Brown.

Brown was behind the move but insisted he had no plans to retire, leaving some to wonder if Muschamp would have the patience to put in the years at Texas before taking over.

“More than anything, I want to thank Mack Brown,” Muschamp said. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity he gave me and my family and all of the guidance. He is the best in the business, and I can’t say enough about everything he did to help prepare me for this. He really wanted it to work out for me to be the future coach at Texas, but this was just an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

“It’s close to my family and my wife’s family, and like Texas, Florida is just a tremendous place in a great conference. I wouldn’t have left for any other job.”

Muschamp’s defense was a key part of the Texas 25-2 run over the 2008-2009 seasons that saw the Longhorns rise to No. 1 for a month in 2008 and play for the BCS national championship last season.

The defense faltered badly in 2010, however, as Texas went 2-5 at home and suffered its first losing season in 13 years with dismal losses to UCLA, Iowa State and Kansas State.

“We were planning and hoping Will was going to be the next head coach at Texas, but obviously things didn’t work out that way,” Brown said. “We respect his decision, and we are really happy for Will and (his wife) Carol. He is a great coach and will be a good fit for Florida.”

Brown now must find his fifth defensive coordinator since 2003. The last three, Greg Robinson (Syracuse), Gene Chizik (Iowa State and now at Auburn) and Muschamp, all left Texas for head coaching jobs.

“Our commitment remains that we will build the best coaching staff in the country and we will begin a nationwide search immediately,” Brown said.

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Comments » 322

Down_The_Field writes:

guess he got tired of waiting.

globadoc writes:

Of all the hires they could have made (or could make if this turns out to be just a rumor), this one doesn't worry me as much as perhaps Gruden or Chip Kelly.

BigOrangeRod writes:

Wouldn't come to Tennessee but will go to Florida. That's a hard pill to swallow. Hopefully after a year or two more of Dooley, Muschamp will wish he had stayed in Texas!

HarryHood writes:

in response to globadoc:

Of all the hires they could have made (or could make if this turns out to be just a rumor), this one doesn't worry me as much as perhaps Gruden or Chip Kelly.

...or Malzhan, Mullins, or Petrino.

RoadTrip writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I am with you. This is a great hire as far as helping us. He had some of the best talent in the nation at Texas and his defenses leaked more than a 1958 Rambler. It also tells me that ole Jeremy got turned down a few times before settling on him.

The door for Dooley and staff just widened a little wider in the Sunshine State!

RollAFatty writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What about this hire makes for a real AD? I guarantee you Muschamp was not UF's first choice. As a Seminole fan, I am now comfortable in saying FSU is again the dominant program in the state of Florida.

Caspian writes:

Muschamp declines UT offer. Says he is committed to waiting for his shot at TX head coach position. Recommends Derek Dooley to Hamilton (which I think was excellent advice). Then accepts FL offer. My feelings toward Muschamp can best be described as conflicted.

txvolsfan2 writes:

in response to BigOrangeRod:

Wouldn't come to Tennessee but will go to Florida. That's a hard pill to swallow. Hopefully after a year or two more of Dooley, Muschamp will wish he had stayed in Texas!

A different season brings a different perspective. Last year TX was playing for the BCS Championship and this year they finished 5-7. Perhaps WM decided to move forward while he is still considered a hot commodity.

volsportsfan writes:

This guy was only gonna take a job where talent was plentiful. Texas, Florida, Miami, Georgia... etc. I hate it that he told us no and Florida yes but Tennessee just does not produce the talent that Florida does. This is not about tradition but about how easy it is to recuit. Personally, I like this hire. Mullen or Petrino or Malzhan would have given us fits. We can take this series back with Muschamp at the helm, I hope!

HarryHood writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

I am with you. This is a great hire as far as helping us. He had some of the best talent in the nation at Texas and his defenses leaked more than a 1958 Rambler. It also tells me that ole Jeremy got turned down a few times before settling on him.

The door for Dooley and staff just widened a little wider in the Sunshine State!

I agree that this doesn't seem like it would have been Foley's first choice. However, I just can't imagine that Stoops, Mullen, Petrino, AND Malzhan (and whoever else) ALL turned down the job. Maybe Muschamp was rather high on their list. Either way, I hope we can welcome ol' Will into SEC play next year with a big L.

Huttdawg100 writes:

Based on his lack of head coaching experience, this hire does not scare me... Tennessee Volunteers 2001 SEC Football Champs!!!

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to BigOrangeRod:

Wouldn't come to Tennessee but will go to Florida. That's a hard pill to swallow. Hopefully after a year or two more of Dooley, Muschamp will wish he had stayed in Texas!

After observing him for a few years in which he had incredible talent to work with, I don't think he is any big deal, certainly not worth the hype.

vol_4_fan writes:

Big names don't always make great coaches. Kelly, Mullen, or Pertino all would be bigger threats to SEC teams, one reason is that they are already head coaches. Meyer just could not go on without Timmy. Go Vols!

HarryHood writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

Based on his lack of head coaching experience, this hire does not scare me... Tennessee Volunteers 2001 SEC Football Champs!!!

2001...?

wildcatbasketball writes:

What does this say about the UT football program? He rejects the UT job last year and takes the Florida job this year? My take is the UT coaching job is not the job is not what it used to be. UT football will survive but it is evident now that top coaches do not want to come hear. Go Coach Dooley!!!

UTSportsFanatic writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who the heck is Derek Goff?

doh writes:

This is pretty confusing as far as a head coach goes. I figured Florida would go and get a big name established coach. This is good for us.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,

AirForceVol2786 writes:

in response to RollAFatty:

What about this hire makes for a real AD? I guarantee you Muschamp was not UF's first choice. As a Seminole fan, I am now comfortable in saying FSU is again the dominant program in the state of Florida.

One thing you'll figure out on this board is, most people here think being an AD is all about football. Just ignore them.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Swallow your pride, Big Orange faithful. Hate to say it, but the Fla. coaching position is considered above the UT coaching position. It is in the top 3 or 4 coaching jobs in America, just as USC is. UT may be in top 10.

doh writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

What does this say about the UT football program? He rejects the UT job last year and takes the Florida job this year? My take is the UT coaching job is not the job is not what it used to be. UT football will survive but it is evident now that top coaches do not want to come hear. Go Coach Dooley!!!

This is about the dumbest post I have read. He took the easy job by accepting the fla position. Tennessee is in good shape with this staff they have now. You ought to know. They just kicked the S#*t out of your football team.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

What does this say about the UT football program? He rejects the UT job last year and takes the Florida job this year? My take is the UT coaching job is not the job is not what it used to be. UT football will survive but it is evident now that top coaches do not want to come hear. Go Coach Dooley!!!

What's the point spread up to now?

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

What does this say about the UT football program? He rejects the UT job last year and takes the Florida job this year? My take is the UT coaching job is not the job is not what it used to be. UT football will survive but it is evident now that top coaches do not want to come hear. Go Coach Dooley!!!

come here

Huttdawg100 writes:

Florida fans should be fearful because their defense stopped people, but the offense struggled. Does Brantley stay? If not, who's the new QB. Do you have quality wide receivers? He'd better try and get a good OC. Maybe the guy from OK State....

His strength is coaching DBs.. I'm anxious to see what Hunter and Rogers are going to do against him...

dk writes:

in response to MerlOT_GoVols:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fulmer is gone. Get over it.

BankerVol writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey 2z1. You are a punk.

Caspian writes:

Have you noticed how 2z1 is off his game these days? His insults have lost their originality. It's like he just going through the motions, or plugging keywords into a formula. It's the new template tantrum.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to HarryHood:

2001...?

2011... My bad

FWBVol writes:

For those who are questioning why Hamilton couldn't land Muschamp and Foley could, I would also suggest that the timing of both situations had a lot to do with things. Yes, Muschamp was the DC, but it was still less than three weeks before national signing day when everything went down at UT.

As is the case when Phillip Fulmer was named head coach at UT or any other coach without previous experience takes over a major job, time will tell whether or not Muschamp is successful.

thereturnoftriumph writes:

in response to RollAFatty:

What about this hire makes for a real AD? I guarantee you Muschamp was not UF's first choice. As a Seminole fan, I am now comfortable in saying FSU is again the dominant program in the state of Florida.

he was UFs number one choice. Can you say recruiter?

alvol writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

What does this say about the UT football program? He rejects the UT job last year and takes the Florida job this year? My take is the UT coaching job is not the job is not what it used to be. UT football will survive but it is evident now that top coaches do not want to come hear. Go Coach Dooley!!!

come hear what?

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Do you lay awake at night to invent this stuff? You are the definition of an idiot.

9krpms writes:

I don't think this is a slap at UT, Muschamp is managing his career. He made it clear he wanted to go to a program where he could win immediately, and at the time, UT didn't look so good on that front. Florida is loaded with talent, he should easily be able to win 9 or 10 games right away. I commend him for not chasing money and waiting for the right opportunity.

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

come here

I live here in Knoxville dude and my wife is a UT alum so I think I have a say!!! Is my point wrong? Did Muschamp reject the job here or not? Answer is YES!!! UT took the 4th on the list with Dooley!!! Why can't you admit that?

jobrando#216494 writes:

Next year the VOLS go 7-5 and one of the W's will be against the Muscrats....

Clarkrm0706 writes:

The truth is I just dont care about this story enough to make any more of a comment than this.

NorthwestVol writes:

And I was worried they would hire an upgrade over the tired old worn out Urban. The great Florida Gators settling for an assistant coach.

Priceless!

whippersnapper writes:

The Gay turds are a has been ! ! LOL This hire proves it ! !

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to Lostvolinhighweeds:

What's the point spread up to now?

What in the hell does the point spread have to do with this article? You can not get it in your head now that NO big name coach wants to come here!!! The UT program is not what it used to be. Admit it!!!! Yes.....It is better job than UK but is not what this article is about is it? Was the UK job mentioned? I have read it several times and did not see that in the article nor the point spread you are referring to. Get a life dude!!!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yep,7-5 is better than 5-7.

RollAFatty writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FSU ticket sales have skyrocketed this evening in response to UF hiring the second coming of Ron Zook. And based on the picture included on this article, UT should probably copyright the phrase "Great Pumpkin" before gator fans adopt it.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

What in the hell does the point spread have to do with this article? You can not get it in your head now that NO big name coach wants to come here!!! The UT program is not what it used to be. Admit it!!!! Yes.....It is better job than UK but is not what this article is about is it? Was the UK job mentioned? I have read it several times and did not see that in the article nor the point spread you are referring to. Get a life dude!!!

The article also didn't say "Kentucky please come give your useless opinions on football" yet here you are.

vol_4_fan writes:

in response to thereturnoftriumph:

he was UFs number one choice. Can you say recruiter?

Did you not just go 7-5 with the #1 recruiting class? Go Vols!

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

What in the hell does the point spread have to do with this article? You can not get it in your head now that NO big name coach wants to come here!!! The UT program is not what it used to be. Admit it!!!! Yes.....It is better job than UK but is not what this article is about is it? Was the UK job mentioned? I have read it several times and did not see that in the article nor the point spread you are referring to. Get a life dude!!!

The article is about Floridas' new coach A-hole.
The point spread has as much to do with it as anything you post. Do you know what you can kiss?

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

The article also didn't say "Kentucky please come give your useless opinions on football" yet here you are.

And will always be...It is USA right? Last I checked I did live in USA, the right to my opinion, or is it different when it comes to UT football?

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are an insult simply because you live.I don't know how you came into being.It was not God's doing.God don't make mistakes.YOU WERE A MISTAKE FROM DAY ONE.When you were born,the Dr. slapped everyone.

RollAFatty writes:

in response to thereturnoftriumph:

he was UFs number one choice. Can you say recruiter?

No, but I can say Ron Zook.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Weren't you one of the gator fans who lectured Volunteers when we hired Kiffin that we should have waited for someone who was a proven HEAD coach in Div I football? Didn't you tell us we diminished our program and the SEC by hiring a man who had never been a college head coach? So how do you feel now that you have turned over your program to someone who has never been a head coach for a successful program in a college football game?

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to thereturnoftriumph:

he was UFs number one choice. Can you say recruiter?

5-7.Good recruiter.Right.

GerryOP writes:

Let me see if I understand this correctly. UF has an implosion on the offense, suffers from a clear lack of leadership, and the head coach just quit. Quit, not moved to a better job ... quit.

So .... in 3 days they hire the DC from a team that went 5-7 who has never been a head coach. Must be something missing here.

Oh, I get it! At 5-7 Texas is not going to a bowl game so Will Zook is the only available candidate!

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