8/3: Muschamp on Hill, Hamdan, leadership

Head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Friday following the first day of fall practice for the Florida Gators. Muschamp spoke about a number of hot topics concerning the coaching staff and personnell heading into the season.

HILL’S RESIGNATION WAS “VERY SURPRISING”

Though Muschamp did not want to go into too much detail about the departure of wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill, he did say that he informed the team of his resignation on Thursday night and was ultimately surprised by the decision.

“Obviously disappointed in the situation,” Muschamp said. “I really don’t have anything more to say. It’s a personal situation with Aubrey. It has nothing to do with the University of Florida, and we wish him well and he’ll always be a Gator.”

He also complimented Hill and said that he does not hold his decision against him.

“Aubrey’s a good man, a good football coach, a good guy and a great Gator. He felt like this was something he needed to do and that’s what we did,” Muschamp said.

FILLING IN FOR HILL ON THE FIELD, IN THE OFFICE

Hill’s departure leaves what many would believe are two glaring holes in the Florida coaching staff considering the fact that he held two positions. Muschamp was quick to point out, however, that “recruiting coordinator” is not one that needs to be filled because, at the end of the day, it all falls on his own shoulders.

“You’re looking at him. Every day,” Muschamp quipped when asked who would replace Hill as recruiting coordinator. “That title don’t mean a whole lot to me. I’m the recruiting coordinator. I handle all the recruiting; I’ve recruited every player we have.”

He did, however, expand on who would be coaching the receivers and said that duty would indeed fall on the shoulders of graduate assistant and former Boise State quarterback Bush Hamdan.

“He’s a guy that is a really good young football coach,” Muschamp said. “He’s a very mature guy, an outstanding football coach. As we move forward, I will make a decision in December about that position.”

Muschamp appeared solid in this decision, noting that he has “all the confidence in the world [Hamdan] will do an outstanding job for Florida.” He also said that offensive coordinator Brent Pease would be helping him out just like he would any other coach.

“When you’re the coordinator, you wear a lot of hats. So it’s not like all of a sudden it’s a new responsibility being thrown on top of you. He was very comfortable with what we were doing anyways,” he said of Pease.

“I feel very comfortable about that situation. I’m not at all worried. I never blinked. We were going to be fine; I knew what we were going to have to do.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On how he felt after practice: “A lot of really good retention on both sides of the ball; very pleased with both of the retention. Obviously they’ve worked hard this summer knowing their assignments and the things that they do. [...] The younger guys went tonight…that was good, good effort. It was interesting. We lined up in some defenses I didn’t know we had. No, they did a good job. They did. It was good effort and energy and excitement, anxiety and all the stuff that you couple into a young guy going out.”

» Muschamp said that defensive backs sophomore Jabari Gorman and redshirt freshman Valdez Showers both practiced with the younger players in the evening session not because they needed work on learning the system but because he wanted to make sure each got as many reps as possible.

» On if he saw increased toughness from his team on Friday: “You play in pads and we’re out there in helmets. Everybody looks tough and everybody’s got courage in helmets. Some of the courage doesn’t show up as much when you get into full gear, so that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

» On if players are able to determine leaders before coaches do: “At the end of the day, the players before the coaches normally know who the leaders are. I see them on the field, I see them in the locker room, I see them in the weight room. I have a pretty good idea of the personality they have and the type of person they are. But unless I’ve been around them for 2-3-4 years, sometimes you may miss on some guys. But they’re with them in the social settings and they understand the guys that are real and the guys that aren’t real at the end of the day. There’s no question that our players probably identify better early on who the true leaders are and who the real guys are and who the guys are that want to talk about it. You know, you got to walk the walk as well.”

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