Muschamp has the credentials to be great hire


Published: Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 9:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 9:53 p.m.

They hired a Bulldog?

They hired an assistant coach?

Whose team went 5-7 this year?

They hired a guy who is good friends with FSU's head coach?

All true.

And it's a great hire.

They hired a Gainesville guy who knows defense, has an Urban quality and will bring fire to the program. They hired a guy who knows the league. They hired a guy who has won in The Swamp. They hired a guy who has learned from two of the best — Nick Saban and Mack Brown, not to mention Bill Oliver.

I know the Gator Nation had its mind set on other possibilities, but they never were realities. Jeremy Foley set his sights on one guy and one guy only.

The Bobby Stoops talk was crazy. According to reliable sources, Foley never called Stoops.

Except before the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game to wish him luck.

No, Foley was driven in his pursuit of Will Muschamp, the new heir to the throne. He first talked to Muschamp on Thursday, one day after the formal announcement that Urban Meyer would be stepping away from the job.

On Saturday, Foley spent the day in Austin, Texas, while rumors were flying around that were — shocking — way off base.

So what does Florida have in Will Muschamp?

I have talked to him on several occasions and I can tell you he's not only a bright guy but personable. He's known to be a great recruiter and he has made his reputation coaching defense.

This is a tough league, in case you hadn't noticed. SEC fans like to talk about how their league is the best in the land and then can't believe that they could possibly lose conference games. You have to have thick skin to coach in this league, and in Muschamp, Florida has found a guy who will be tough as nails.

But this is the one thing you need to know in case you have any panic because your coach's last name doesn't start with a "P."

He was good enough to be Texas' coach-in-waiting, which meant he would be the next coach at one of the top five programs in America.

So, certainly, he's good enough to be the head coach at another one of the top five programs in America.

Basically, Florida hired Texas' head coach away from the Longhorns.

And I can promise you that Texas is miserable today because he's leaving.

(Perfect scenario, too, that Texas doesn't have a bowl game to worry about, so Muschamp can get right to work).

Now comes the most important part of Muschamp's early reign as the Florida coach — hiring a staff and recruiting. He's got to hire an offensive coordinator who will wow the fan base. When a coach steps into a program, his first class usually isn't the greatest, but don't be surprised if this one is really solid.

This is the point where you ask if I'm being a little too giddy about this hire. After all, the last time Florida hired a defensive specialist who was an assistant coach it didn't really work out, did it?

I think this is different. I can tell you if Mark Richt had been fired at Georgia this year, this would have been the coach that UGA targeted. And I'm sure there are other head coaching jobs that Muschamp could have had if not for his coach-in-waiting title and $900,000-a-year salary.

They hired a Bulldog.

They hired an assistant coach whose team went 5-7 this year.

They hired a friend of Jimbo Fisher's.

And it's a great hire.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top