Say what you “will” about Will Muschamp as a football coach, but as a person, there’s not much to criticize. The man has handled all the “Fire Muschamp” chants and constant bashing of him with dignity and class. Monday was no different.
It was the first time that Muschamp and Athletic Director Jeremy Foley addressed the firing publicly since it was announced on Sunday that Coach Boom will not be retained as the head coach next season. Despite the dismissal coming a day after Florida’s gut-wrenching 23-20 overtime loss to South Carolina, Foley said it wasn’t an easy decision.
“It may have been the most difficult day of all for us because the type of person Will Muschamp is.”
The impact made by Muschamp was felt well throughout the program, and even the University President, Dr. Bernie Machen, took a moment to appreciate his hard work during his four-year tenure.
“Never have I worked with a coach in any sport, over three different universities, who has been more supportive of the university mission and what we’re trying to accomplish,” Machen said. “Can you say that someone, who has to leave, has made a positive contribution? And the answer for that is definitely yes for Will Muschamp. In fact, I would love for my son or my grandson to have the opportunity to be coached by Will Muschamp.”
Muschamp had to tell the team the sad news on Sunday afternoon, but his message to them was clear.
“You can work really hard and you can be really diligent in what you do, but you have to have results in life, whether you’re in the business world or whether you’re in the coaching profession. It really doesn’t matter, you have to produce. It’s like the players tell me all the time well I’m trying hard. Well I know, but you’re not producing so we have to go with somebody else. That’s the message I had for them and let’s learn a lesson from it and understand you have to produce in life. If you’re a salesman, you gotta sell. If you’re a football coach, you need to win. That’s bottom line.”
After the way the last two games in the Swamp transpired, Muschamp had a feeling it could happen.
“Certainly after the [South Carolina] game and the way it ended and having two home games in the Swamp and having opportunities to win both games. I certainly knew there was a possibility, there’s no question.”
Despite the news breaking two weeks before the regular season ends, Muschamp doesn’t expect his players to be distracted the final two games.
“Our guys will respond the right way and they’ll handle it with class just like they always have in all situations. It’s important for us to get these seniors a win here in the Swamp and these next two weeks get two W’s.”
Meanwhile, Foley said the search for a new coach has already begun. He also made it clear that the new head-man needs to have an offensive mindset.
“We would obviously like an individual that’s been successful on the offensive side of the ball. I think obviously that’s what the Gator Nation wants and we see that and that’s what we’re certainly going to try to provide for them.”
The Gator Nation would also love to see the Gators win out and that starts this Saturday against Eastern Kentucky at high noon for Senior Day in the Swamp. It was also be Will Muschamp’s last home game as the coach at Florida, so emotions will be high. You can catch the pregame coverage on ESPN 850 WRUF starting at 8 am.
For audio of the above quotes, click below: