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Foley ’1,000-percent convinced Muschamp is the guy to lead’ Gators

Will Muschamp AP

For those members of Gator Nation looking for a change at the top of the Florida football program, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.  Or, you’ll be excited because Will Muschamp has received the “dreaded” public vote of confidence.  One of the two.

Following an embarrassing home loss to Vanderbilt Saturday, speculation reached a rolling boil regarding the long-term — hell, the short-term — future of Muschamp as UF’s head football coach.  When athletic director Jeremy Foley declined to publicly discuss said future in the immediate aftermath, the rumor mill kicked into overdrive.

Four days later, Foley has come out with an unequivocal defense  of the beleaguered head coach.

In what amounted to a statement made through the program’s official website and packaged as an interview, Foley made it crystal clear that he has no intention of making a change at head coach either now or in the immediate future.  In fact, Foley’s support of Muschamp has boxed himself into a corner as there is simply no gray area involved whatsoever.

“As athletic director, I’m a thousand percent convinced that Will Muschamp is the guy to lead this football program. Nothing has changed in what we feel about Will Muschamp from the day we hired him. … We have a history of being successful, we have a history of fixing things when they need to be fixed, and that is what is going to happen here, and Coach Muschamp is the one that will fix it.”

As far as the public perception of the very vociferous support amounting to nothing more than the “dreaded” vote of confidence?  Foley, one of the sharpest ADs in the game, had an answer for that too.

“This is not the quote-unquote dreaded ‘vote of confidence.’ This is just how we all feel around here. We have a strong faith and a strong belief in his capabilities, in his leadership skills, in his ability to evaluate what needs to be fixed.”

What was left unsaid, at least for now, is Muschamp’s coaching staff.  Specifically, there will very likely be shakeup on that side of the ball, starting, but likely not ending, with offensive coordinator Brent Pease.

For now, and for better or worse, though, Muschamp is the man Foley believes to be best suited to lead the Gators out of a malaise that is no doubt Urban Meyer‘s fault*.

(*Do I really need an asterisk denoting that was a joke? Probably…)

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24 Responses to “Foley ’1,000-percent convinced Muschamp is the guy to lead’ Gators”
  1. mydixienormus says: Nov 13, 2013 4:52 PM

    All the other SEC East teams agree that Muschamp is the best guy for the job…

  2. mydixienormus says: Nov 13, 2013 4:56 PM

    Does anyone else think it is ironic that 2 former Big 12 teams are at the top quarter of the “best conference in football”????

  3. woebegong says: Nov 13, 2013 4:58 PM

    The coach has just been given the kiss of death. I think he is a very good defensive coach but hasn’t got a clue yet, how to be a head coach. Good recruiter, very poor manager. I don’t know if a stronger OC could help him out or not, but I have my doubts.

  4. mydixienormus says: Nov 13, 2013 4:59 PM

    Funny story. A guy I used to work with posted on his facebook page last year after the 3rd week of the season:
    “I think Texas A&M and Missouri are regretting joining the SEC”.

    What a dick. By the way, he is a Florida fan…

  5. fsu01 says: Nov 13, 2013 5:06 PM

    woebegong: “The coach has just been given the kiss of death.” That is exactly what I was thinking. Anytime an AD or GM (pro level) gives the public display of support, it is usually not a good sign for a coach.

  6. jaydm84 says: Nov 13, 2013 5:08 PM

    He went 11-2 with a very tough schedule (beating LSU, A&M, Mizz, SC) last year. He has been down 10 starters at any given point this season, with one being arguably one of the best DTs in the NCAA. I’d say it’s hard to judge him this season. I do think they need to take a long look at their practice scheduling and athletic training department so they can try and limit some of these injuries, especially those occurring outside of games. If he can’t pick it up next season he should be done.

  7. jimbo75025 says: Nov 13, 2013 5:15 PM

    Giving him a raise/extension after getting blown out by a huge underdog was a huge mistake. As a result of that though, UF is stuck with him..

  8. canetic says: Nov 13, 2013 6:36 PM

    LOL. Good luck with that, Gators.

  9. halbert53 says: Nov 13, 2013 6:59 PM

    Zook got fired with similar record. In Muschamp’s case, the W-L record is just a symptom of the deeper problem. He is in over his head. A good coordinator but not HC.

  10. ruggyup says: Nov 13, 2013 6:59 PM

    Am 1000% convinced Folery is on the right track. Am also convinced Muschamp must show some heavy duty management leadership doing heavy duty assistant coach restructuring.

  11. modhairken says: Nov 13, 2013 7:22 PM

    Yeah, Jeremy, you can be replaced too. You’ve hired two guys. Zook and Muschamp. Spurrier and Meyer chose us. You keep hiring losers in baseball.

    Don’t forget who your bosses are. An empty stadium is a message. The Bull Gators make the decisions. Not you.

  12. jason1214 says: Nov 13, 2013 8:38 PM

    He should get another year. Coaches often get extensions after big seasons. Some work out, others don’t. Injuries & bad playcalling have hurt them more than Will.
    RTR

  13. dcroz says: Nov 13, 2013 8:48 PM

    Muschamp may have had to deal with lots of injuries on his team this year, but the offense was in bad shape even before he started losing players. It wasn’t even good last year, as the Gators rode their defense to that 11-win regular season. With SEC offenses now channeling their inner WAC, he can’t rely on his defense holding opponents to under 17 points each game to have a chance to win. He’s going to have to make some major changes on his offensive coaching staff, or else Foley may pull the plug now before Muschamp can do any more damage.

  14. noaxetogrind says: Nov 13, 2013 10:06 PM

    @ modhairken, you obviously don’t know anybody at Florida or follow their program very much. Like Florida or hate them, there is one thing everybody in the country will tell you who is involved in coaching, Foley is beholden to no one. When Florida has an opening in any sport there is no search committee or search firm hired. He has always been on record as saying “thats what I get paid for”. You can criticize his football hire of Muschamp, time will tell if he was a bad hire but the rest of your commentary is so off base it’s laughable. The two best overall athletic programs in the country, by far, are Stanford and Florida. Look it up. “You keep hiring losers in baseball”. Dude, put the crack pipe down and step away from the table. Florida played in the National Championship game in baseball in 2010 and 2011 and had a down season in 2012 after having EIGHT players drafted off their team. I’ll take that kind of loser everyday of the week.

  15. normtide says: Nov 13, 2013 10:35 PM

    Muschamp will get another year. Probably with new assistants. The thing us, Florida has talent, defense plays well, they just need some offense. I’m just happy UF won the battle for Pease. Then again, maybe Will has restrictions on him. If anything, I would send back channel overtures to Charlie Strong. See what that situation is like.

    Dixie, just maybe joining the SEC is what boosted both teams? A&M’s drubbing if big 12 co-champ Oklahoma its proof plenty of that. DGB committing to Missouri is more proof. Maybe Oregon should try to join, to get over that hump.

  16. modhairken says: Nov 13, 2013 10:54 PM

    noaxetogrind:

    modhairken graduated UF, had a best friend on the BB team on scholarship, was a bookie to several of the members of the baseball team, attended classes with scholarship athletes in FB, basketball, baseball and gymnastics. modhairken has attended over 100 football games at Florida Field, twice as many basketball games, is good friends with someone whose son is on the BB team currently, and knows about 20 Bull Gators. So, modhairken knows something about UF.

    By the way, if you’re happy with Lopez, McMahon and O’Sullivan, then Foley must be your brother. O’Sullivan is an a-hole, and he mistreats his players. He is a hot head and choker.

    I did not say Foley was beholden to anyone. What I said is Foley can be replaced. Period. He should not hitch his wagon to Muschamp because if they end with a losing record and lose to FSU, then the Alumni that fund athletics will not stand for it, and will tell him to can Muschamp or pack up his desk, too.

    A losing record in UF football will never be accepted again, injuries or not. Muschamp is Gary Darnell with an iPhone. Even Zook did not have a losing record. So, we do not need time to tell, Muschamp was a bad hire.

  17. sportsguy3434 says: Nov 14, 2013 5:44 AM

    Mydixienormus,
    Ummmm A&M hasn’t been one of the top two teams in the west either year (2 losses this year vs none for Auburn) and Mizzu has one loss in a weak east division. A & M got a new coach and a heisman qb and they were improved last year. A & M was about the 4th best team in the conference and they dominated the 2nd best team in the big 12 in OU. The big 12 is the next to weakest conference this year. Look a little deeper and you see it is not something positive about the big 12.

  18. gatorfan1 says: Nov 14, 2013 12:10 PM

    modhairken:

    I’m calling BS on you. You are obviously self obsessed with yourself, and supposedly your “inside” power broker status in the UFAA.

    First off, your original post says that Spurrier and Meyer chose Florida. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Back when Spurrier was hired, Bill Arnsparger was the AD of Florida. He was by far the most hated AD in the history of college athletics. When searching for a coach, Arnsparger refused to consider Spurrier. Everyone from the Bull Gators to the President of the college wanted Spurrier. It took some of the most powerful Bull Gators, including Ben Hill Griffin (Stadium namesake) himself to go get Spurrier. He flew to Duke to interview Spurrier who wanted nothing to do with this. It was ONLY after a huge groundswell of support AND threats from the most powerful alumni did Arnsparger hire Spurrier. He hated Spurrier and resigned a year later. If you were what you say you are, you would certainly know this! It is Gator Lore.

    Concerning Meyer, Zook was fired so Foley could go after Meyer. Everyone knew Meyer was going to get some serious offers. It was Foley, not Bernie Machen who hired Meyer. You would know this too!

    Furthermore, there is no comparison between Zook and Muschamp except they are both great recruiters. The program was in total disarray under Zook. And when things didn’t go well, he blamed Spurrier for leaving the cupboard bare with talent. It took Spurrier to publicly come out and point out that 10-11 Gators were drafted the year after Spurrier left. Zook could barely speak a coherent sentence when interviewed and always blamed others. Muschamp on the other hand has never said he was left without talent. What has been said, by Meyer himself, was that the program “was broken” when Muschamp took over.

    Zook may not have ever had a losing season, but he also never went 11-2 with all his talent. The program is in much better shape now with Muschamp than it ever was with Zook.

    Finally, who cares if a coach is an a**hole. They all are at this level. Spurrier could be a real d**k. After the opening game of the “95″ season and a lackluster performance against Houston, Spurrier called out the Florida fans and said they were spoiled; and said maybe he needed to leave and was overstaying his welcome. You can imagine how the fans reacted to him in the next game. You would know that too, but you don’t. So Saban is a nice guy?

    Stop coming on here and acting like you are some die hard Gator fan with power and influence. You know nothing of the history of Florida, or the power Foley has. You have no idea of the goings on behind closed doors at the UFAA, so stop pretending you do.

  19. modhairken says: Nov 14, 2013 3:04 PM

    gatorfan1

    You just made my original point, which is Foley does not make the decision. The Bull Gators do. Spurrier damn sure chose Florida. You prove that point too.

    I laid out my connections because the other fellow questioned them. I’m not an insider but I know enough to know Foley will do what the BGs want him to do.

  20. gatorfan1 says: Nov 14, 2013 4:01 PM

    modhairken:

    Again you are dodging and trying to shift the argument. Spurrier would not have anything to do with the boosters. So he didn’t pick Florida. Arnsparger was despised by anyone & everyone connected to the UFAA. That is why the boosters got involved.

    Since Foley has become AD no boosters have gotten involved anywhere near to the same extent they did concerning Spurrier. As a matter of fact, there is strong indications that Foley spurned Spurrier to hire Meyer. If we go by what you said, Foley would be gone considering how much the powerful alumni loves Spurrier. Not a peep from them after Meyer was hired.

    Since your original post even Spurrier has come out in support of Muschamp, and if you know anything about Florida boosters, that will pretty much seal the deal that Muschamp stays. That’s how much he is still respected.

    But let’s cut to the chase. Pick your charity. Florida is going to have a losing season this year and both Foley and Muschamp will both be back next season!!!

  21. modhairken says: Nov 14, 2013 9:00 PM

    Gatorfan1

    You’re on. $100 says Muschamp is canned if they have losing record and lose to FSU. My charity is American Liver Foundation. Yours?

  22. gatorfan1 says: Nov 14, 2013 9:43 PM

    modhairken:

    You’re on. American Cancer Society. $100.00

  23. packergator says: Nov 18, 2013 9:21 AM

    I’m tired of the injury excuses – do you see Georgia having a problem? And if the counter-argument is having Aaron Murray at QB, why is it that Florida can’t seem to recruit QBs that can read defenses, find receivers, and get the ball out on time?

  24. packergator says: Nov 18, 2013 9:46 AM

    Foley should sit Will down and tell him that fans don’t appreciate being told how they should react to a 5-game losing streak at a school where that never happens (“fans need to get a grip”?).

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