December 12, 2010 by staff
Will Muschamp, (AP) – Maybe Muschamp will get tired and defensive coordinator waiting.The heir from Texas to Florida jumped Saturday night, taking on one of the top jobs in college football and the replacement of two times National Champion Urban Meyer.
“It’s a dream come true,” Muschamp said in a statement.
Muschamp will be presented at an evening news conference Tuesday.
It will also be meeting with a place he used to call home. Muschamp spent 10 years in Gainesville as a kid, graduated from Georgia and coach at Auburn and LSU.
He knows Florida. He knows the Southeastern Conference. For the Gators, the background takes his lack of head coaching experience.
“I grew up watching the Gators and other SEC team has been on television,” said Muschamp. “I have fond memories watching SEC football with my dad on Saturday and play football in the backyard with my two brothers here in Gainesville.”
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said that Muschamp targeted shortly after Meyer resigned Wednesday and it was the only person to whom Foley offered the job.
Foley said Muschamp 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 peers, and we wanted someone who had a passion for the University of Florida. Coach Muschamp is all these things and more. ”
The timing of the announcement raised some eyebrows. Did the Gators plan announce at the ceremony Heisman Trophy? Former Florida quart Cam Newton, now offensive star at Auburn, won a little over two years after leaving Gainesville, amid allegations of cheating after his arrest on a charge of theft.
The lease was also greeted with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Some raved about Muschamp history and behavior of fire. Others wonder whether an assistant coach for a long time would be the right person for one of the elite programs in the nation.
Meyer, however, applauded the hiring.
“Coach Muschamp is a safe place for the University of Florida,” Meyer said in a statement. “It is a relentless recruiter and brings a tremendous amount of energy and passion for the game I saw him often on the road recruiting trail and I was always impressed by him as a coach and a person “.
Meyer left work Wednesday, four days after he called Foley and said he planned to move, and left over 20 million guaranteed on the table.
This season, the Gators were near the bottom of the SEC in every offensive category, were blown out by Alabama, South Carolina and Florida State and finished 7-5. It was the most losses in Meyer’s career coaching for 10 years.
Several freshmen transferred, others have threatened to leave and there seems to be a huge gap between seniors underachieving team and Meyer touted newcomers. The players refused to point fingers, but there were screams and changes to personnel assistant coach. There was another arrest, 30 involving 27 players during the tenure of Meyer.
Muschamp will try to change things.
It was already one of the biggest names among the assistant coaches when he was hired at Texas before the 2008 season.
Video clips on the Internet’s expletive-filled tirades on the sidelines Auburn Longhorns fans excited. He had nicknames alternate “Coach Boom!” for his enthusiasm and noted “Coach Blood” because it has ignored the blood that ran down his face after a break in the first game of the 2008 season.
Muschamp was only 11 games in his time in Texas, when the university announced a surprise agreement nearly double his salary to $ 900,000 and make him head coach in waiting behind Brown.
Brown was behind the move, but insisted he had no intention to withdraw, leaving some to wonder if Muschamp would have the patience to put Texas in the years before taking over.
“More than anything, I want to thank Mack Brown,” Muschamp said. “I am so grateful for the opportunity he gave me and my family and all the advice. It is the best in the business, and I can not say enough for all he has done to help me prepare for it. He really wanted this to work for me to be the future coach at Texas, but it was just an opportunity I could not pass up.
“It’s close to my family and my wife, like Texas, Florida is just a great place for a major conference. I would not leave for another job.”
Muschamp defense was a key 25-2 run in Texas during the 2008-2009 seasons which saw the rise Longhorns No. 1 in 2008 for a month and play the BCS national championship last season.
The defense faltered badly in 2010, however, that Texas went 2-5 at home and suffered his first losing season in 13 years with dismal loss to UCLA, Iowa State and State Kansas.
“We planned and hoping Will would be the next head coach at Texas, but obviously things do not work that way,” Brown said. “We respect his decision and we’re really happy for Will and (his wife) Carol. It is a great coach and will be a good fit for Florida. ”
Brown now has to 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 staff in the country and we will begin a national search immediately,” Brown said.
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