Jane McNulty: In all weather, stick together

Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.

Regarding the Jan. 5 editorial, “Losing with class.”

I am not a Gator alum. I am a fan by choice. I strongly disagree with the statement that “Coach Will Muschamp ... set(s) an unfortunate tone.” This condescending comment suggests Muschamp is out of control and trains his team and staff to be undisciplined.

I’ve had the privilege to be an advisor for some players, team staff members and, years ago, one of the coaches. All have nothing but praise for Muschamp and the positive change he’s made in team discipline on and off the field.

When players do perform or behave badly, they get pulled aside and corrected. In some cases, they leave the program. This team has an energetic, passionate and supportive player’s coach who has their

back when unfair or bad calls are made. I believe these are the traits admired by Jeremy Foley in Muschamp’s hiring and traits instrumental in leading the team to an unexpected 11-2 record against the country’s toughest schedule.

If the players need an “attitude adjustment,” so does Gator Nation — along with a memory check. The expectation for perfection and always winning is unreasonable. The lack of ticket sales speaks volumes.

These young players made mistakes and a few were undisciplined in that game. But you can be sure Foley and Muschamp have already had a conversation about how to correct these aberrations.

Gator Nation needs to remember the hungry years, the “there’s always next year” years. As the daughter of a high school football coach

who coached both Gator great Joe Brodsky and ESPN Gameday’s Lee Corso, all my life I heard “it’s how you play the game” but I also heard “on any given day, any team can be beaten” and “you have to have the horses” — meaning talent, training and desire.

Coaching is not for the meek or weak. It offers the highest highs and the lowest lows. It is not a science but instead the art of molding young men at the height of their testosterone into worthy student-athletes.

This team has come a long way under this coach. The future looks bright. Gator Nation needs to remember that “in all kinds of weather,” we stick together.

Jane McNulty is an advisor in the master of science in management program at UF’s Hough Graduate School of Business.

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