Florida Gators AD Jeremy Foley, President Bernie Machen support head coach Will Muschamp

By Adam Silverstein
November 13, 2013

The Florida Gators on Wednesday released a lengthy statement of support from the administration for head coach Will Muschamp, whose football program is currently standing at 4-5 (3-4 SEC) and facing its first losing season since 1979.

Below are Florida’s statements in full. OnlyGators.com will have more on this topic in the very near future, so stay tuned to this website.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley (unabridged):

“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.

“Everyone around here wants the same thing. We want to do what is right for the University of Florida. We understand that this football season has not gone the way any of us wanted it to go, certainly not the way our fans wanted it to go, and most of all, not the way Will Muschamp wanted it to go.

“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.

“I understand the passion and the disappointment. But at the end of the day, we’ve got great fans, they love the Gators and their passion makes this place special. They are hurting, they want the program to be successful and we feel that hurt.

“We will get better under Will Muschamp’s leadership. 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.

“Go back to a year ago: we’re 11-1 and beat four teams in the Top 10 and he was SEC Coach of the Year. I don’t think that was a fluke. I think coaching had a lot to do with that. We’ll stay the course here. We’ll get it right. We’re not going to let Gator fans down. We want the same thing they want.”

President Bernie Machen (unabridged):

“I want the Gator Nation to know that I have full confidence in Coach Muschamp and his leadership of the football program.”


  1. Oldflyer says:

    Well, I have been on forums, and predictably their statements have no effect on the Rabids.

    The consensus seems to be that Foley is:
    1. Over his head
    2. Lying to stall for time while he searches for a suitable replacement.

    Once an animal (or fan, or pseudo-fan) turns rabid, there is no cure.

    • gary says:

      Wait? Foley is over is head? Foley of 3 football national championships? Foley of 2 basketball titles?

      And soccer, and numerous track and field and becoming one of only 5 school to win a gymnastics championship…and perennial volleyball, baseball and softball contenders? That Foley is in over his head?

      You folks really are pretty spoiled. lol. I know how you feel but I temper that stuff knowing Foley is THE most successful AD at ANY school in the last 25 years.

  2. nugent1021 says:

    Not another year of Pease and his crapstorm offense.

    Oh sweet. USC is a night game at their house this weekend.
    They have the nation’s longest home winning streak. Super.

  3. jakalleb says:

    Yeah unfortunately we still don’t know what Muschamp is going to be. Two bad offensive coordinator hires, not enough or the wrong kind of offensive players, and the injury plagued season from hell. I mean I was kind of excited when they hired Charlie Weis. but obviously that didn’t work out, same thing with Brent Pease. of course not having an offensive line for like 4 years has made for some terrible football. All this to say Florida football is way more than one problem away from being good again. The only complaint I would have with Foleyis that he keeps hiring defensive coordinators as head coach. when UF hired Spurrier and Meyer they were offensive guys with head coaching experience. Zook ended up not being HC material. If Muschamp is going to make it he needs help on the other side of the ball with players and play calling quickly!

    • Daniel M. says:

      I wish I had written that. You echoed my sentiments exactly.


      I am curious about exactly how much input Foley has with regards to Muschamp’s staff? Obviously he can axe any coach for NCAA or ethical issues, but does he make staff decisions with regards to their X’s and O’s abilities? He is after all, an administrator. Adam? Anybody?

      You just have to wonder what needs to happen to get the offense out of the sewer. Muschamp is getting commitments from good offensive recruits. But the O-line and play calling are continual sore spots. Where is the solution?

  4. Matt Burris says:

    This is just par for the course. Sport administrators and coaches all say this same thing in interviews and PR sessions. That they’re not going to get fired, or not going to switch to another school, or not going to retire. But then it usually ends up happening at the end of the season, and sometimes sooner than that when the crap really hits the fan.

    Personally I don’t care who is the coach, coordinator, president, or athletic director. I only care about wins. I’m pretty certain all Gators fans feel the same way. I wonder if the statement above would stay the same if the Gators were to lose to Georgia Southern.

    • G2 says:

      I am here to say the crap has already hit the fan…..wait until we lose the rest of the games and get pounded by fsu. Its not all Champs fault but he ultimately has to take the blame. He came into a tough situation with no good OL, no depth (Urban), then compounded things by making a couple of bad OC hires. Best we can hope for is a new OC for next year, new head coach the following year.

      • gatorboi352 says:

        “no depth (Urban)”

        I will never understand this. We had plenty of depth and talent. The issues in the program at that time were attitude/ego/entitlement based. A lack of players was not the case.

        Bottom line name one aspect of this program that has improved under Will. I’ll wait.

        • 630Chucky says:

          Depth and talent aren’t the same thing. By the time Meyer bailed, there was some top-flight talent. There wasn’t depth. Look at the big recruiting classes under Muschamp. Those were to fill holes. And Muschamp & Co. had to take that raw talent that was left, and turn those guys into players (on the defense, mostly).

          You can’t compare the best days under Meyer with the best days under Muschamp. Not yet, anyhow. The program was in total disarray when Muschamp got here. He’s fixing it. It would be an ugly process under any coach.

          • Ken (CA) says:

            prograin total disarray when Meyer got here, look what he did with it. 3 years in, what has he fixed? His first recruiting class should mostly be on the field at this opint and a good chunk of his second. Offense is horrible, Special Teams are horrible, defense is mediocre against any real team and has been exposed. About the only thing that is better is we seem to have a lower arrest count so maybe he is getting players with better character, but he isn’t coaching them up to play at this level very well or else his system is keeping them down.

      • 630Chucky says:

        This is a fantastic idea! Let’s bring in a new OC with a new system. Maybe a pro-style offense, or maybe the spread again. That way our players can spend next season trying to learn something new. Then you know what would be great…let’s get a new head coach so we can start all over again the next year. Let’s make things harder, not better. Let’s poison the program so we can’t get players or coaches to come here. Let’s never be good again.

        You’re right that Muschamp inherited a bad situation. And Weis turned out to be a big mistake. It would’ve taken any coach time to work through that mess, and I doubt many would’ve had the kind of season we had last year. There were a lot of question marks about this team, and we got just about the worst-case scenario.

        We need players. Pease will be fine. Our OL coach should be toast.

        Gators, take a deep breath. Let’s grind out a win on Saturday against a team that really isn’t that good.

  5. Fed up says:

    Thank you Mr. Foley and President Machen for giving me a reason to take the money I would have spent on tickets to next years games, and spend it on something else. Nothing will be fixed and UF will be 4 and 8 next year.

    • Scott says:

      If you all are that easily swayed, then take your money elsewhere and don’t come back. Don’t buy any more gear that would let people believe you are a fan. And please don’t sing We are the Boys anymore…You are the same people that complained about an 11-1 season last year. How many teams go 11-1? Sometimes, it takes luck (see blocked SC FG)…And if you think Foley is in over his head, then you really don’t know what you are talking about.

  6. TST says:

    more than once in sports . All sports . The AD or Owner will say ‘They’re Great.’ Then the walking papers in a few weeks . I’m hoping . What has been done to Florida football i don’t take lightly !

  7. aziatic41 says:

    Looks like the Gator Nation is stuck with Will Muschamp. Sucks but Foley and the president has his back.

    Does Foley anything about football ?

    Has he seen how bad our offense has been during Muschamp’s tenure ?

    Did he see how lucky we were last year during that 11-1 season and then how we got dominated by a lesser-talented Louisville team in the Sugar Bowl ? Anybody who truly knows football knows that our season last year was a pure fluke!

    • Daniel M. says:

      I guess all those defensive guys that got drafted into the NFL were flukes too. And that Caleb Sturgis, what a bum.

      Turnover ratio, time of possession, flipping the field, elite third down defensive play, high percentage FG conversion. Those were all flukes.

      The Gators lost a whole bunch of talent from that team and have been beheaded by injuries this year.

      The offense definitely needed to improve and that fell apart. Many, including me, would like to see Pease get shown the door.

      All that said, to call the 2012 team a fluke shows an immense lack of big picture understanding. It’s obvious who the fluke is.

  8. Oldflyer says:

    See what I meant?

  9. Timmy T says:

    If he is to stay, someone needs to tell him to recruit, (and close on), at least 7 offensive lineman a year. The rest is icing on the cake. No less than 18 scholarship, big uglies, at any given time. It all starts up front. He preaches about line of scrimmage all the time. Stop preaching and start building it. And lets cross our fingers that we find a QB with the head for the game. Maybe there is one on the roster now, maybe not. Maybe the Grier kid will pan out. Doesn’t matter who is QB, nor what play is called, if our O-line is as totally inept is it right now. Think back to any good or great offensive Gator squad. We had great O-lines that made everybody’s job a helluva lot easier.

  10. SW FL Joe says:

    When Machen feels that he needs to issue a statement like this it tells me the noise in the system is deafening right now. Big money is starting to turn up the heat and they want answers

  11. Sharon M. says:

    The Gators are SO BAD this year it’s hard to believe. I think the team is falling apart and there are massive problems that the higher ups are ignoring. I am scared to watch the game this weekend, let alone FSU!!

    Maybe when students stop going to the games because it is too painful to watch the administration will do something.

    Putting off the inevitable for a year will only make it worse. At least get rid of the OC>

  12. Mike says:

    We just lost to Vandy at the Swamp!

    Got pretty much routed by them.

    Make all the excuses you want for Muschamp, Pease et al, it doesn’t change the facts.

    We could go 4-8 but Ga Southern is having a bad year so its most likely 5-7.


    Foley has brought the Gator Nation Zook 2.0 and his ego just won’t allow him to acknowledge his utter FAILURE (again) and make the necessary correction.

  13. Scott says:

    Ok, all you experienced armchair critics, especially those of you with the $$ who think that equals intelligence, who do you think should (or realistically would) be the head coach? If you don’t have any idea, then you are in over your head…

    • TST says:

      little rude aren’t we . If you enjoy losing then you got it made now at Florida . Boom nor his staff have a clue ! I don’t like Foley’s ego nor Florida football being the laughing stock of college ball . Our history is totally blown with another Foley experiment !!

  14. Spike says:

    Yes, Foley has been here for 3 football titles. But he didn’t hire Spurrier (1 title) and Machen had as much influence on hiring Meyer as Foley did. Donovan was Foleys best hire. Florida was winning championships in non major sports (like swimming, diving, Etc) long before foley. Foley is good but he really doesn’t get credit for everything.

  15. Gatoralum88 says:

    Adam! I can’t wait any longer for your brilliant insight on this! In my opinion, Foley & Machen are so wrong. It’s time for a new head coach. I’ve seen enough. Unfortunately, I keep reading about this $8 million dollar buyout (Is that true?) & feel that would be too much for UAA to swallow, so, I think we’re stuck with Muschamp for AT LEAST one more year. Foley once gave a great line after firing Zook: “If something is inevitable it might as well be immediate”. Foley needs to live by that again but he’s too arrogant, stubborn, and stupid to see that MUSCHAMP ISN’T THE RIGHT GUY! What bothers me most about CWM is his hot-head, in your face eruptions with players. ESPNU did a “hot seat” story on him and half the video shown was of him screaming at players like a maniac. A zebra can’t change its stripes. He is what he is and he’s a hot head! He’s also NOT a people person. You can tell that by watching his coach’s show, any halftime interview, or any press conference. Smiling doesn’t come naturally to him & when people are comparing your stare to Charles Manson it’s bad. Also, his dismissive, “above it all” attitude with fans and media has worn thin & I don’t think it plays well with the 18-22 year old crowd. I doubt he’s a “players coach” because his current team just isn’t playing that hard for him anymore. So, who should come in? It’s foolish to think Spurrier would come back. He’s 67 & I expect he wants to retire some year soon rather than fix Gator nations problems again. I’d love Strong & wouldn’t mind Mullen. Both would jump at the chance with UF’s resources.

    So, what I foresee happening (after blowout losses to USC and FSU) is he’ll fire Pease and Davis but WON’T hire a true spread OC because of his stubbornness to stick with his pathetic, “3 yards and a cloud of dust”, ball control offensive philosophy. We’re destined to be an 8, 9, 10 win at best per season program with NO SEC or National Championships under Muschamp. In case any of you other Gator fans don’t know, the domain name for firewillmuschamp.com is for sale! 

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