A day after Muschamp was tabbed as Urban Meyer‘s successor, reports began to surface that Smart had been offered the coordinator job on Muschamp’s UF coaching staff. That connecting of the dots made perfect sense; Muschamp and the Alabama defensive coordinator have worked together at a couple of coaching stops the past two decades, are long-time friends and remain very close.
Ultimately it was reported that Smart was leaning toward staying with the Tide. As Nick Saban does not normally allow access to his assistants, Smart has been mum, at least publicly, on joining his friend with the Gators. That changed Thursday as Smart addressed the media for the first time since the rumors surfaced and attempted to snuff out the speculation.
Asked if he and Muschamp had discussed working together again, Smart gave the ever popular “not really” denial.
“That’s kind of a gray statement there, informal conversation,” Smart said. “Will and I talk all the time. He’s one of my best friends. I’ve known him for more than 20 years now. And he and I talk a lot, but not really about me coaching with him, no.”
Smart did intimate that, when he does move on from the Tide, it will likely be for heading his own football program as opposed to making a lateral move that his current boss so frowns upon.
“Yeah, obviously that’s the next step I’d like to take is to be a head coach,” Smart said. “I’m at a great place now. My wife and my family, we’re all happy at the University of Alabama. Coach (Nick) Saban’s been very good to me, and the University of Alabama’s been very good.”
All of the speculation surrounding Smart and Florida should come to an end, one way or the other, next week; UF athletic director Jeremy Foley said Wednesday that most or all of Muschamp’s coaching staff should be in place by Tuesday.