Reports: Muschamp returning as Gators coach in 2014 but changes to UF coaching staff ahead

By Adam Silverstein
November 24, 2013

The 1,000 percent confidence athletic director Jeremy Foley claimed to have in head coach Will Muschamp two weeks ago apparently remains unchanged despite the Florida Gators suffering the worst loss in program history on Saturday after falling 26-20 to Georgia Southern, the first FCS school to ever defeat Florida.

RELATED Column: Foley sticks neck out for Muschamp, puts legacy on line

On Sunday, citing a “source close to the program,” the Orlando Sentinel reported that Muschamp’s job was safe even though “significant changes to [his] coaching staff are expected after Saturday’s season finale against Florida State.”

Those substantial adjustments will likely be made to the offensive side of the ball with offensive coordinator Brent Pease the main assistant on the hot seat.

Muschamp on Saturday strongly criticized the Gators’ performance on offense both in that loss and over the last few weeks.


“You got to change the scoreboard offensively. You got to be able to change the scoreboard. We’ve just struggled scoring points offensively. It’s been a week-in, week-out occurrence. My job is to get it fixed and it will get fixed,” he said.

“Very disappointed for our program, an embarrassment in this situation. We had our opportunities there, the kids kept playing hard. It’s very difficult for us to create explosive plays to get anything down the field. [We] just don’t ever do it.”

RELATED: Muschamp places blame for Saturday’s loss on offense

UF, which both lost six-straight games and clinched a sub-.500 season for the first time since 1979, has failed to eclipse 20 points since Oct. 5. While Florida has been unable to score more than 31 points in a single game this season, in-state rival Florida State has neither scored less than 41 points nor won a game by fewer than two touchdowns.

The Gators’ problems are not all on the offensive side of the ball, however. Florida has allowed four teams during its six-game losing streak to score 23 or more points including Vanderbilt (which two weeks ago beat UF for the first time since 1988) and GSU (which completed a five-play, 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive with 2:44 to play).

Georgia Southern also rushed for 429 yards on Saturday, the fourth-most ever allowed by Florida in a single game.

Following the Sentinel’s initial report, ESPN and CBS Sports both received a statement from the University Athletic Association (speaking on behalf of Foley) confirming that Muschamp would remain in place for 2014.

Photo Credit: Dave Martin/Associated Press

73 Comments

  1. Daniel M. says:

    Well his comments obviously set the table for axing the OC. Thank friggin god!

  2. SW FL Joe says:

    So Ray Goff’s legacy is alive and well and is getting its revenge on the Gation Nation for at least another year. Whoopee. Maybe we can start another streak, most consecutive non sellouts. Slive just might trade us to the ACC if this keeps up.

  3. aziatic41 says:

    @Adam,

    Does Bernie Machen have the power to fire Jeremy Foley ? Because him bringing Muschamp back next year is a terrible mistake. The athletic department will lose millions of dollars next season with the return of Muschamp. The fans already dislike him. This is very bad news for the Gator Nation.

    • GatorCooken says:

      Regardless of how fans feel about his 2 bad hires, Zook and Muschamp (somewhat debatable), Jeremy Foley is one of, if not, THE TOP AD’s IN THE COUNTRY. Period. Look at his track record across ALL sports, it’s amazing. Hiring Billy Donovan alone gets him immunity. He will never be fired. I get tired of arguing this to Gator fans who only focus on football, I get it, it’s where the money is, but fire Foley? Absolute nonsense

      • Ken (CA) says:

        100% agree. JF will make bad hires over all the sports he manages, but the amount of SEC and NC he has produced and the coaches he has hired as a whole is phenomenal. He is generally recognized as one of the top 2 ADs in the country, along with Joe Castiglione at Oklahoma. I can understand the housecleaning and giving champ 1 more year to turn it around due to the injuries and the high buyout, plus the fact there could be lots of competition in several high profile spots this off season. I am not sure that I agree with that, but I trust his judgment as he knows the inner workings of how these things work better than any of us do. I am sure he has a short list already ready and could pull the trigger in an instant, even after today’s comments. Imagine losing to FSU 80-10 or something at the swamp(which sadly, at this point doesn’t seem irrational)…..could WM still survive? I can’t imagine it.

    • Yes. But he won’t. Nor should he.

  4. ??? says:

    This is ridiculous. Just ridiculous.

    • nugent1021 says:

      Muschamp came here to set records and he’s done exactly that. First losing season since 1979, first loss to Vandy at home since 1945, first loss to a Division 2 (FCS whatever) team EVER (and at HOME), first 3-game losing streak to UGA in forever, etc etc.

      The guy has created a legacy. What did we expect from a Dawg? Get a grip. Apparently, Foley wants more firsts.

      Yes, this is ridiculous.

  5. ??? says:

    “It’s very difficult for us to create explosive plays to get anything down the field. [We] just don’t ever do it.”

    That’s because your offensive philosophy is flawed.

    Also, you hired the last 2 offensive coordinators. That’s on you, that’s your responsibility.

  6. TST says:

    Well this is certainly depressing . JF ‘Is’ holding the Gator-Nation hostage . This man is vile and disliked by fans yet Foley’s ego reminds unchanged . I say ego cause there is no other reason to retain Muschamp ..I use to love looking forward to start of Gator football . Foley has now killed that ! I’m so depressed .

    • Daniel M. says:

      Vile? Completely ignorant.

      • TST says:

        Vile? Completely ignorant
        Completely ignorant ..Your manners are less than mature .
        I didn’t punch out a chalkboard in front of 18 to 20 year old kids .
        I don’t scream and cuss on the sideline like your hero .
        I didn’t setup my OC who i begged to come work for me to cover my low football IQ .
        I don’t stare down players with a ‘Death Ray ‘ and pure anger on my face .
        Now Apologize

  7. tgropp says:

    This puts a whole new meaning to “Laughing all the way to the bank” for Ron Zook

  8. Alex says:

    Muschamp won’t last half the season next year. What a joke our program has become

    Scapegoats don’t solve the real problem

    • Tractorr says:

      This right here is the real problem. The second we lose a game next year (which we will) he is going to be on the hot seat and fans will be pissed. Muschamp has spent every cent of the good will he built up last year. What is the point of keeping him around?

  9. Adam says:

    I am sick with MUSCHAMPS CONTINUOUS EXCUSES i for one will not put another dollar towards this program or help in any way. I don’t understand how a coach can place blame on everyone around him and not take the blame like a REAL MAN SHOULD.I have never seen this program in such disarray.Charlie Pell, Galin Hall had there fair share of trouble but this coach has ruined the Gator Program..recruits will end up leaving and so will the fans…look forward to another season of excuses next season too but maybe we will be lucky and they will fire Foley, Muschamp….

  10. G2 says:

    I’m not sure the DC shouldn’t be on the list also….the D sucks. If Champs staying we need big time coordinators on both sides of the ball now to help recruiting as we will loose some after the beatdown coming Saturday.

  11. grant says:

    i live in atlanta and make the trip to gainesville two to three times a year. i will not be making the trip anymore until muschamp is relieved of his job. i have already had to endure a three year losing streak to georgia in the heart of uga country. there is no point in spending the money to travel down to gainesville to watch muschamp flounder on the sideline while the team isn’t competitive. i will be cheering from afar until muschamp is axed.

  12. Sharon M. says:

    Having Muschamp come back will be a major mistake. maybe when the Gators are no longer wanted on TV on Saturdays and fans stop going to the games Foley will wake up. Money talks.

    I think Muschamp is emotionally immature and in over his head.

  13. Distraught says:

    Thanks Foley, i can now save the cash i would have spent on Gator football games next year. I will mot be attending if WM is coaching. This is so frustrating and i am loosing any interest in UF football quickly. I really hate it for the players too.

  14. Tguygator says:

    I was a WM supporter as I thought best for program until I could not. He’s ruined the mighty gators; he’s ruined the mystique of coming to the swamp. Young folks in JAX that grew up coming to the swamp now would rather go see the losing JAGS. They see more peeps they know & the magic of Saturdays in the swamp is gone. I’m sick over this.

    Inexcusable that he could not say one word about a D that has lost too many games by letting other team have game-killing drives while blaming only the O—when his O coach is coaching his Offensive philosophy–a prevent; scared O.
    Disgust.

  15. Croc says:

    Disgusting

  16. Frank says:

    I know my comments will be met with incredulity, sarcasm, ridicule and questioning of my sanity, but here goes. I think Coach Muschamp has what it takes to turn this around. And for all those calling for his removal, there is not another coach in the country, including all those mentioned as prospects, that could have endured what Coach has had to deal with. Meyer left a broken program. A number of his “stars” were discipline issues that couldn’t deal with the expectations and left. A large contingent of departed NFL talent, many juniors, created a huge void, especially from last year’s defense. (We had a brand new set of linebackers ,most of which are now watching from the sidelines.) Even after solid recruiting classes by Muschamp, the NFL subtractions, transfers and this year’s “Shands Hospital All-American Team” have left this team absolutely gutted. I do support a change of offensive philosophy, and believe several coaches will be replaced at season’s end. Once everyone heals up, and with the talent coming in, including several potential freshmen starters, I think we’ll see massive improvement. Now, for Saturday’s contest…I expect a closer score than many believe possible. Maybe not a SCAR result but at worst two or three touchdowns difference. And if we can pull off a miracle (think Ga. Southern-type upset), how sweet would that be?!!! Let’s all take a deep breath, get through Saturday and see what happens. This one’s for you, Coach Boom!

    • Nick says:

      Yeah. Also, Santa Claus is real. I get being optimistic, but there’s a point where reality is clear enough to not have to try to predict the future. We have enough data on Muschamp to conclude he is in over his head.

      • JaxGator384 says:

        Frank you need to “Just Say No” to whatever you are smoking! Muschamp is and will ALWAYS be a Clown! We should cut bait and move forward with a legitimate HBC like Bobby Petrino. Go Gators!!!

        • Frank says:

          Well, my friend, the one and only time I attempted to smoke anything was that cig as a 12 year old…nasty. Never gave it another thought 🙂 Now, I might also ask you to reconsider the choice of Petrino as a legit HBC. Yes, we’d get an offensive genius. But a man who commits adultery lacks, I believe, the moral center to lead young men with integrity. If he can lie to his wife and kids, he can lie to anybody. Not a man I want leading the Gators.

          • JaxGator384 says:

            Bobby Petrino has NEVER been in trouble with the NCAA. Please check your facts. Since when was a moral/personal issue an indictment on someone’s ability to coach. He has developed ELITE College QB’s, WR’s and Running Backs and was challenging Alabama for SEC West supremacy when he was fired. I have seen coaches with NCAA violations within their own program given second chances and some not fired as all. So I ask which is morally better? He has won with less at every stop he has been on and would ascend us immediately to the top of the SEC with University of Florida level athletes. I would also like to thank he has learned from that one moral mistake. Go Gators!!!

            • Ken (CA) says:

              no one said it has anything to do with his coaching, it has to do with his lack of character. We have enough character/discipline issues without bringing in someone who would be “do as I say, not as I do”

      • Frank says:

        Thanks Nick for confirming my belief in St. Nicholas…I thought if anybody should support Santa, it should be a guy named Nick 😉 Speaking of data, I guess my litany of reasons for the 2013 trailer fire weren’t enough to sway you. I understand. It’s been frustrating to watch, for sure. Though I hate to see anyone lose their job, I do think Pease, Tim Davis and maybe Dillman might go. I know one thing…I wouldn’t take a million bucks to be in Coach’s shoes right now or be a member of the Muschamp household…not a pleasant holiday season with the pressure he’s under.

  17. Champ supporter says:

    Man, come on! You’re going to watch the Florida Gators because that’s what you do. Why continue to complain about something you can’t control. Muschamp is coming back so deal with it. There isn’t a realistic option out there. Calling for Foley to be fired is ridiculous. I can appreciate Gator Nation may be upset, but you guys are fans! We are supposed to support this team no matter what. Fans are devoted! You don’t kick people to the curb when they are struggling. The negativity serves no purpose. The guy is coming back so we might as well deal with it! Go Gators and go Champ! Glad to know you will be back.

    Adam, do you have any guesses of who we could possibly target as an OC, pending Pease does get fired?

    • It’s a tough question because I’m not sure which top-flight OCs would want to risk their career taking a job for a coach on the hot seat. I’m starting to think Florida just promotes from within – Joker Phillips or Brian White.

      • Champ supporter says:

        Adam, do you know much about their offensive philosophies? Are they more wide open?

        • White is run-first pro-style. Phillips is also pro-style but likes to open things up a bit more.

          Moving up one of those two would be more about bringing different leadership to the offense, not necessarily a change in general philosophy.

          What Florida needs is a change in philosophy but that starts at the top with Muschamp. It’s a very fluid situation, and I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen at this point. Anyone who tells you they do is lying to you. There are a lot of directions this can go.

          • JaxGator384 says:

            You are obviously a Champ Relative or something. Actually Champ should be blasphemous when it pertains to what we will ever accomplish under his leadership. Jeremy Foley is just delaying the inevitable by not firing him this year. He will see even with a new OC we will get the same results as long as Muschamp continues to handcuff him with his conservative philosophy and the Defense under D.J. Durkin remains. We need to clean house and bring in a legitimate HBC like Petrino whose offensive scheme and philosophy was dominant in the SEC and he developed his players. Check the NFL Rosters…Go Gators!!!

    • TST says:

      didn’t i read a post just 3 days ago that stated you give up on Boom ? I know i did . Now i am depressed ‘And’ confused .

      • Champ supporter says:

        TST, I am not sure if you were referring to me about giving up on Muschamp. I have never said I gave up on the guy. I stated that I was for a change whether it was him or Pease. There is a difference. Muschamp has said himself that if you do the same things over and over again then you will get the same results. I was simply saying we need something different at this point.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Fans are not blind automatons that cheer for the team regardless of the quicksand it is in. It is silly to keep preaching that we should be. Fans are understandably frustrated with the direction of the program and because we care, voicing our opinion to please change direction

  18. Alex says:

    And he will still be the coach next fall….

  19. Geoff says:

    For all you sad fellow Gators fans, here is something to make you feel a little better: This season alone, Will Grier threw for 4,989 yards & 77 TDs w/ only 11 INTs. Also rushed for 1,252 yards & 13 TDs and led his team to a state championship(he is still 100% committed). As for Muschamp, not sure he’s 100% safe. Regardless. who is available that would be worth and would 100% take the job? Everyone calm down. You sound like cry babies. Go Gators

    • grant says:

      geoff, all the numbers and stats on grier sound great but if you don’t have a coach to develop the talent then its a moot point. jeff driskel was the gatorade florida player of the year and ranked as the top pro-style by all the recruiting services. florida has hauled in great recruiting classes, but under the muschamp regime that means nothing.

    • SJ210 says:

      Grier may well be the real deal, but keep in mind he’s putting up those numbers in a private school league in NC, so not exactly facing the best competition. And he weighs about 185 lbs, so he’ll need a couple years in our strength program before he’d physically be ready for SEC football

    • gatorboi352 says:

      Yeah and guess what Geoff, John Brantley broke Tim Tebow’s High School touchdown record the year after Tebow set it.

      Those numbers mean absolutely nothing.

  20. Jared says:

    Really dissapointing. Makes no sense if true. Muschamp is obviously in over his head. Need a new direction badly and blame shifts to Foley if Muschamp is retained. Gator Nation is unified on this one. Everyone but Foley wants him back.

  21. grant says:

    adam, do you have make us do a math equations before we can post a comment to prevent fsu fans from posting?

    • Funny. The reason is that even though I have a spam filter (that worked great for two years), a ton of crap still got through. It’s just an extra level of prevention. If you register for the site, you don’t have to do the math to comment!

  22. Hans says:

    I am not opposed to Muschamp coming back for next year, BUT he needs to get these players with a better attitude and a better effort on the field.For example, our players are more talented than FSU(except Winston) , but FSU has the whole team buying into their system. FSU runs hard on every play,but our guys have some sort of chip on their shoulder. With 3 hurt offensive linemen coming back, perhaps Andre Debose and all our other 10 injured starters our team will have depth and experience to count on next year. I question Muschamp not trusting his two top 5 classes who are now becoming Sophomores and Juniors. Its time to bring in a great QB coach and a great Offensive coordinator and if we dont make it to Atlanta next year Muschamp needs to go. Zook had 3 rough years and then Meyer stepped into his recruited talent changed the bad attitude and look what happened.

    • G2 says:

      I don’t know about us being more talented, they look loaded and deep. There does seem to be a different attitude on their team this year, maybe the new DC? Maybe the qb?
      Been very disappointed with the effort level this year (with the exception of USC), players dont look like they are going all out, seem like they have given up and packed it in for this season. You would think with WM firey personality the team would respond.

      I do think we will be much better next year with all the guys coming back but a new OC takes time. Can’t be any worse than we have seen this year…. just hope they bring in a big name that shakes things up instead of promoting from within, we need excitement. Champs made 2 bad hires already, holding my breath on this end.

  23. gatorboi352 says:

    “The Gators’ problems are not all on the offensive side of the ball, however. Florida has allowed four teams during its six-game losing stream to score 23 or more points including Vanderbilt (which two weeks ago beat UF for the first time since 1988) and GSU (which completed a five-play, 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive with 2:44 to play).”

    Make no mistake about it though, the root issue with this team is offense. It has been for 3 years and it has finally affected other aspects of this team. You don’t think some of those kids have mentally checked out? They are 18-22 year old KIDS. 3, 4, 5 losses and they are onto something else. Injuries start to hinder them a little more. Guys start pushing a little less hard and giving a little less ‘all’. The offense has become cancerous to the program. Auburn also gave up a lot of points to other teams this year. Didn’t seem to stop them from becoming #4 with a shot at the national title…. with a first year head coach!

  24. aziatic41 says:

    And I see why Charlie Weis left us and bolted to sorry Kansas. He knew Muschamp was a stubborn and arrogant guy all alone. I wouldn’t have wanted to be a handcuffed OC either. I couldn’t work under a coach like Muschamp. A stubborn micromanaging head coach. Smh

    I don’t think Pease is the problem, I think it is clearly Muschamp! His philosphy is not a great fit for UF. You can’t run a prostyle offense with spread offensive players! And our defense is very overrated. How many times have we been burned on 3rd down plays this yr ? And all the 4th quarter blown assignments by the D..

    The dimunitive qb from Georgia Southern is only 180 pounds and he gashed our defense running the ball. Injuries is not an excuse for that..

    JEREMY FOLEY NEEDS TO WAKE UP!!

  25. JaxGator384 says:

    Will Muschamp can’t coach worth a damn but he is morally superior to Bobby Petrino. I guess you like losing to Vanderbilt and Georgia Southern but as long as he has great morals we are fine. How absurd…Go Gators!!!

    • Frank says:

      Jax- I agree with you that Petrino hypothetically could build a winner here. My point again is this- Many of the athletes that come to the college level have come from difficult backgrounds at home, etc., some without fathers or key mentors in their lives. As much as I enjoy winning football, we live in a day and culture where we need to model winning lives to these young men. Coaches are typically listed as one of the most influential people in a young man’s life. I think Coach has done a pretty good job focusing on that aspect. Is he perfect? No. But building young men has seemed to be an element in his program and with his own family. As far as your comment about his coaching ability, I refer back to my original comment. Considering the circumstances he faced, I think Petrino would be in a similar position.

  26. brlgator says:

    Remember everyone, firing a coach is easy but hiring a new one is difficult. Before you fire muschamp you have to have a home run replacement lined up. My darkhorse is David Cutcliffe though he is a bit old. Jeremy Foley is a great AD, you got to have faith.

  27. Ejl33gator says:

    I support my team through it all. I am so sick if all the vitriol and hate and whining. No coach in Ameica could win with the injury-laden roster we have. Third drug QB people. Wake the hell up. The loss this weekend is unacceptable and I am concerned with Champs reaction. With that said, he had endured a lot if pressure and the team is still fighting for him.

    When I read the comments and I see the empty stadium it makes me embarrassed and sick to my stomach. These kids have invested their dreams, their sweat, their time and have sacrificed a lot for this school – the coaches as well. Speak your mind and exercise your right to be critical, but save your negativity for other times and places. I am going to watch every game and follow this team no matter what. I hope you all join me. I still love watching freshman like Hargreaves lock down the nations finest. I still like seeing Kelvin Taylor carry on his family’s tradition. We are fortunate to root for a great team with lots of talent, even in down times. This year had been beyond disappointing and frustrating. We have all endured some pain and embarrassment. Show some love, though. Go gators.

    • EB4UF says:

      You are not alone, as we share the same sentiments. By attending the games and cheering the team on, regardless of whether they are winning, my wife and I are doing our part to make sure that the kids, coaches, and all those fortunate enough to represent UF know that we are there for them through thick and thin. I appreciate their sacrifices and efforts, even though each game may not translate into a victory. The school’s administration can worry about the faculty, we will concentrate on supporting those who support and represent the university.
      Go Gators!

  28. Alex says:

    These comments are hilarious. Who out there is the sure-thing candidate that you would hire who will do better next year? This is a win-win. If Muschamp succeeds (which I think he will), Foley looks like a genius. If he fails, the university’s buyout of Muschamp’s contract is reduced and they have additional time to seek out a legitimate coaching candidate. This year, we’d be competing with USC and potentially Texas for a new HC. Next year, who knows – but chances are better candidates will have presented themselves.

  29. Jesse says:

    Let us not forget that the defense despite their ranking has sucked on multiple occasions this season. DJ Durkin made it look like Tommy Fraser and Lawrence Phillips were in the Golden Eagle’s backfield.

  30. lee says:

    First losing season since 1979. Thats 34 years of winning football including 3 NC’s. Sounds like a pretty dominant program to me. Can’t let one bad year spoil it and gator fans if your not going to contribute or go to the games dont come back when they are winning again. we dont need you! Muschamp…let’s wait and see, Foley….awesome job putting Florida (and the SEC) on the map!

    • grant says:

      lee, it’s not like the losing season had to happen. i’m not okay with bowl streaks and winning streaks coming to an end. we had south carolina and georgia on the ropes and ga southern should’ve been a gimme. even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes, and a team with this much talent should have found a way to win those games. 7-5 and 6-6 seasons hurt, this season is uncalled for.

      i’m tired of foley hiring coordinators to cut their teeth as head ball coaches. florida is where the best coaches in america should aspire to be, not a place for coordinators to get their on the job training as head coaches.

  31. SWFL Joe says:

    Bruce Feldman of CBS is reporting Pease and Davis are gone after Saturday.

  32. LaterGator says:

    The following video sums up the whole offense all year…. and it starts from the TOP… if you are 6 games deep still “trying to make changes” then it means you can’t do the job…

    Embarrassing
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05h49R4QX9U&feature=youtu.be

  33. LaterGator says:

    Since it won’t let me post the link… go to Youtube and search for Gator teammates blocking each other vs Georgia Southern — EMBARRASSING

    That sums up the Offense for this season… a complete cluster $^%&!

  34. aziatic41 says:

    I’m tired of the injury excuses from the Muschamp supporters. Muschamp does have potential as a coach but UF is not the right fit for him at this point in his career. We have been beaten by two teams with freshman qbs that were ranked below Skyler Mornhinweg coming out of high school. And we were dominanted by these freshman qbs! It all falls back on player development which leads back to COACHING.

    @Ejl33gator,

    So do you think Georgia Southern has more talent that UF’s 2nd string guys ?

    • brlgator says:

      You got to remember how hard it would be to replace Muschamp this year. We’d likely be behind USC and Texas for a HC. You need to have a replacement before you fire Muschamp.

  35. CH says:

    Ok ok, are any of you “Petrino for HC” guys actually following WKU? I live in bowling green KY and graduated from WKU- no way I want Petrino as the new HC. Don’t get me wrong- I want WM replaced, but not with a guy like Petrino. Don’t forget he lied about his contact with the NFL, then bolted mid season from Atlanta and has done nothing with WKU. The Hilltoppers lost to south Alabama for a good example. Ask any fan of any team Petrino has left if they want him back and the answer is resoundingly no.
    Come on- let’s get a new coach but not Petrino.
    Also, because I know Jeremy foley reads these post to keep a pulse on the fan base, I have no interest in Florida football while WM is the coach. I love the gators, but if my son were a recruit I’d want him to play under someone else.

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