Foley: Muschamp has “a chance to be special”

By Adam Silverstein
November 14, 2011

Call it a vote of confidence if you want, but Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley did not mince words when he told the St. Petersburg Times that he firmly believes head coach Will Muscahmp is the man to lead the football program into the future.

Muschamp’s version of the Gators is 5-5 (0-5 against ranked opponents) and skirting on being bowl eligible, a concept previously foreign to Florida fans.

Yet Foley appeared as confident as ever in his latest hire when asked to evaluate the job Muschamp has done up to this point in the season.

“I hate this for Gator Nation. I hate it for our coaching staff. I hate it for Will,” Foley told the Times. “The guy is a competitor. He’s got a fire in his belly. I’ve had to tell him, ‘Will, I can’t help you. It’s unfortunate, but I can’t help you get through this. The future only comes one day at a time.’

“For successful coaches, and I’ve been around them, the Billy Donovans of the world, the Kevin O’Sullivans of the world, the Urban Meyers, it’s always one day at a time. We can’t just fast-forward tomorrow and it will be next year. We’ll go back to work, and we’ll be okay. We’ll be fine.”

The Times observed that Foley appeared “more impressed with Muschamp today than 11 months ago, when he hired him to replace Meyer,” and the athletic director dismissed the notion of possibly making a change.

“He’s a hard worker. All of his coaches are,” Foley said. “I like the way Will handles himself. He doesn’t make excuses. He accepts responsibility. ‘It’s all on me.’ He says it every time we lose. ‘It starts with me.’

“He doesn’t blame the youth. He does say we need more numbers, but that’s a fact. We have less than 70 on scholarship. Saying that is not an excuse.”

Perhaps most importantly, Foley is confident in Muschamp’s ability to turn things around and plans to give him the necessary time to prove that he can do just that while wearing the orange and blue.

“He’s going to keep working. He’s going to keep grinding. There is no woe-is-me,” Foley said. “When you work that hard, you have a chance to be really special.”

Photo Credit: Associated Press

11 Comments

  1. j. says:

    Finally the adults have spoken,I fully support Jeremy and Will,gonna take a few seasons but we’ll be better for the long haul.

  2. G8trpls says:

    Your Kool-Aid is served, sir.

  3. CeeThree says:

    lol a vote of confidence already? people already asking the AD if you’re out the door. How long before Will’s hair has noticably greyed?

  4. HardToKillGator says:

    This season is making my hair turn grey and fall out.

  5. Bog8r says:

    Ive been waiting for this. Maybe some of the people that have been calling for a coaching change will now realize it is not going to happen and will just relax and let the staff do what needs to be done.we have some good players, just not enough. And some are seniors so they won’t be here next year, so they have to be replaced. This year hurts for all concerned, we just have to reload the roster and develop some players. I for one believe this coaching staff will get us where we all want be.

  6. pray for patience Gator Nation—have followed the gators for 58 yrs, been through 10 head coaches—have seen the good,bad and the ugly. right now we’re in the bad to ugly stage but great yrs are on the way again—just be patient Gators. coaching longevity is what is need there right now. Will wants to win as abd as any of us, and IT WILL HAPPEN!!!

  7. Nick says:

    Well I guess he is right? I mean a 6 loss season is in a sense “special”. When was the last time that happened?

  8. g8ter27 says:

    I for one am a bit more disappointed in Weis’s first year than I am Muschamp’s. If the recruiting class this year is really good, then with a tweak here and there (maybe some assistant changes if things don’t improve next year) we should be just fine.

  9. Joe says:

    “What should be done eventually, must be done immediately” Jeremy Foley, the Athletic Director for the University of Florida.

    Jeremy has had his share of hiring mistakes (Carolyn Peck, Pat McMahon, Ron Zook, etc,) but when the time comes, Jeremy will always do what’s best for UF. Until then, the Gator nation just has to show some patience.

  10. GG says:

    Plenty of blame to go around here. Starts with Urban’s recruiting last 4 years. When you look back at last 4 years it starts to make some sense. 07> 14 of 27 played any real minutes, 08> 12 of 22, 09> 8 of 17, 09>13 of 27. Yes he got a few premier studs in the group but this is why we have no depth. Don’t know if a 50% washout rate is normal for college football but wouldn’t think so. Add in all the injuries and transfers an you have the mess we are in now. Maybe that’s why we can’t win in the 4th quarter…..defense worn down and out.
    I for one think he saw what was happening and ejected while he could without tarnishing his legacy too badly. Whose going to fault you too much for playing the family/health card. Now if he takes one of the positions opening up for next year??
    The future is now, they need the get Briss and Driss (no more Brantley please) ready for next year now or we will sink further into obscurity. Don’t you think recruits need to see some life in the offense, get a preview of the next 3 years to get excited about UF?? Right now we are a downward spiral. If we don’t get the mother of all recruiting classes next year, think we are looking at a serious problem….way worse than the Zook years!

  11. JC says:

    We, Florida fans, have lost touch with reality! No program stays on top each and every year! Saban had been at Alabama for several years and lost 4 games, last year. Meyer took us to the promise land, again; however, he left us in the soup line! We have been in position to win more games this year! The coaching was there – the game plan was effective; but, some of our players made mistakes or didn’t execute the play properly. It’s apparent that we have some players in key positions that have reached their max and their inability to grow has hurt us, because we don’t have the depth to replace them. Throw injuries in to the mix and the problem is exacerbated!

    I don’t understand where all of the sane people went! At the beginning of the season, most of us were saying that this was going to be a down year. We didn’t expect much! If we had won the games against Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina, we would have exceeded most predictions. Like I said, above, we could have won those games if you take away the mistakes. What I have seen is not coaching – it’s things beyond the control of our coaches. Take Nixon for example! He would have been riding the pine a long time ago, due to all the mistakes and lack of execution. We had no one to replace him with! We may have one receiver who has play well. He can’t get open, because teams have focuses on shutting him down. We have a very weak receiver corp!

    This coaching staff will get the job done! They just need time to get some depth and the talent that fits their schemes. We need to support them, instead of giving other coaches ammunition to use against use – like, “Don’t go to UF, because they are already calling for Muschamp”s head”. Sometimes, we are our worse enemy! Right now, it’s time for Gator Nation to unite! If we are in this position 2 years from now, then we have a problem. Right now, I don’t care what coach you bring in, we were bound to be in the same position!

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