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…)