Will Muschamp entertained multiple enticing options after being dismissed as the head coach of the Florida Gators. Two positions as a defensive coordinator with an SEC team were reportedly available. Muschamp also interviewed for the Houston Cougars vacancy.
Instead of an attempt to redeem himself as a head coach at a smaller program, Muschamp decided to remain in the SEC.
SportsIllustrated.com’s Thayer Evans reported Muschamp will take over defensive play-calling duties for the Auburn Tigers:
Former Florida coach Will Muschamp will be Auburn’s new defensive coordinator per a source.
— Thayer Evans (@ThayerEvansSI) December 13, 2014
According to 247Sports.com’s Phillip Marshall, Muschamp withdrew his name from consideration in Houston after interviewing for the position.
The hire is expected to be announced later this weekend.
Muschamp was also in consideration to become the defensive coordinator with the South Carolina Gamecocks. However, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier told reporters five days ago that he hadn’t contacted Muschamp nor was he on the verge of hiring him.
Auburn’s financial incentive probably was enough to sway Muschamp’s decision:
Earlier reports are right. Will Muschamp has agreed to become Auburn’s DC. Will be highest-paid college coordinator. More than $1.6 mil per.
— Kevin Scarbinsky (@KevinScarbinsky) December 13, 2014
Prior to being named Florida’s head coach, Muschamp was the defensive coordinator at Texas under Mack Brown. He served in the same capacity at Auburn under Tommy Tuberville and at LSU under Nick Saban.
Muschamp will replace Ellis Johnson, who was fired after the Tigers finished the regular season as the SEC’s 13th-ranked defense. Auburn surrendered at least 31 points in five of the team’s final six contests (excluding FCS opponent Samford).
With Muschamp directing the defense and head coach/play-caller Gus Malzahn designing the offense, the Tigers now own two of the brightest minds in college footbal leading their respective side of the team.