Muschamp confident in future of Gators offense

By Adam Silverstein
December 9, 2011

Losing offensive coordinator Charlie Weis – a four-time Super Bowl winner – to a head coaching job with the Kansas Jayhawks after just one year wearing orange and blue may be a tough pill to swallow for some. Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp, however, is confident that his team will not miss a step either in the 2012 Gator Bowl on Jan. 2 against the Ohio State Buckeyes or going forward next season.

After he confirmed that Weis would be leaving the team at a bowl game press conference Thursday in Jacksonville, FL , Muschamp announced that running backs coach Brian White would take over play calling duties for the contest.

“Brian’s an experienced play caller. He’s a great idea guy. He’s been a coordinator before. He’s had tremendous success as a coordinator before, and he’s a guy I got tremendous confidence in,” he said.

Though White will be a substitute in the interim and may be a candidate for the permanent job, Muschamp does not know who will be taking over long term. He does, however, know the direction the offense is going to be heading.

“We are going to remain a pro-style offense, and I will go hire the best offensive coordinator in the country,” he said. “We need to improve offensively; it’s pretty obvious. We look forward to taking those steps forward.”

He did not express a shred of trepidation when saying that he and the Gators will have no problem finding the right replacement.

“We’re at the University of Florida. We’re going to be able to hire an outstanding football coach that’s going to fit what I want done within our offense and within our systems. That’s what we’re going to do, and I’m going to take my time on it to make sure we hire the right guy and get the right fit,” he said.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]Weis is the third staff member to leave Florida since the regular season finale against Florida State. Strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti and director of football operations Mark Pantoni both left UF to join former head coach Urban Meyer’s new staff at Ohio State. Offensive line coach Frank Verducci, a close friend of Weis’s, may also follow him to Kansas, though that remains to be seen.

Despite a few defections, Muschamp refused to say the staff has been “raided” and remains confident in the coaching staff staying by his side heading into 2012.

“Our staff hasn’t been raided,” he said. “Our strength coach left with a guy that he’s been friends with for 25 years, and I totally understood that was a possibility when I retained Mickey. But Mickey’s a good strength coach and he did a good job for us. And our offensive coordinator got a head coaching job, a multi-million dollar deal. That’s not getting raided.

“When you’re at the University of Florida, and you hire a really good staff, what a compliment it is to the job you did hiring people that other people want your coaches. You know what? We’re going to hire really good coaches. Next year, we’re going to win, and they’re going to come want to get our coaches again. It’s a great problem to have. You know what? There are a bunch of people calling my cell phone – that is off right now – that want to come to the University of Florida.”


» Muschamp, when asked if he had guys in mind for the offensive coordinator job, lit up and responded, “Oh yeah.”

» When asked if Jacksonville head coach Kerwin Bell was a possibility, he did not dismiss the notion whatsoever. “I know Kerwin. He’s an outstanding football coach and certainly will be under consideration,” he said.”

» Muschamp said having a prior relationship with his new hire is not the most important thing but “it would help obviously because you know them a little bit better and, when the bullets start flying, you know how they’re going to respond and react.”

» Asked if he would be leaning on any of his coaching friends for advice, Muschamp quipped, “Most of my friends we got to beat, so no.”

» Most of all, Muschamp is interested in having continuity in the staff in the future. “If guys get a promotion and guys get a step up, I think that’s great and I support it. It says a lot about the guys you hire – that they do a good job, are good football coaches, are good men and are good recruiters. I’m very pleased with the continuity of our staff and do not anticipate any changes moving forward,” he said.

Photo Credit: Associated Press[/EXPAND]


  1. CeeThree says:

    the way I was seeing it on Twitter, thought maybe Will brought Kerwin Bell up on his own, not as optimistic knowing it was a lead. Even if not him, I like that general idea. I’m not sure Will does, but we need some stability. I’d like to see a young innovative guy with something to prove and deadset on blazing a trail and building his name and reputation. We need someone like that, who’ll stick around for a few years, especially with a defensive minded HC like Will imo.

  2. g8ter27 says:

    Problem is that if he does hire one like that, he will be pulled away for a HC job as soon as we start winning. That is what happens around here, just look at all the coaches we have lost, some simply because they were here and wore the orange and blue. Hell I live on the west coast and if I wear a UF shirt I have people offering me HC jobs at the local high school and people copying my bowl sheet in the office pool like I am some football genius….then again.

  3. Haha @ G8ter27
    …turn that cell phone back on Muschamp.

  4. Eat mor chickin says:

    I’m glad weis is gone,I couldn’t stand looking at him on our sidelines dressed in Orange & Blue.It’s funny how a Great QB (Brady) can make an AVERAGE coach look good, Isn’t that right Meyer.

  5. Joe says:

    This will be the defining hire of the Muschamp era. If the new OC sucks and we don’t win more than 6 games and start to show some real improvement in year 2, Will may not get a third year to turn things around.

  6. Tim says:

    The problem with hiring Kerwin Bell is, that people will start turning on their head coach and call for the hometown boy to take over if things don’t turn around. OR if things do turn around, we could have the same problem. I don’t think Kerwin is a good hire for Muschamp…BUT…he’s got the shorts to pull it off, I’ll give him that.

    I like Muschamp. I like his unwavering confidence. I like the article on Kerwin too, and the fact that he’s VERY VERY interested in the job. He’s got a vested interest in seeing us whip people’s tails again. We’ll see what happens.

    • ziggy says:

      Tim – Sounds like your torn with the idea of hiring Kerwin Bell. I’m torn as well, but I don’t think people will start turning on Muschamp for the “hometown boy” if things don’t turn around because that would mean our offense (which Bell would be in charge of) is still sucking. My only concern is being able to get the recruits we want without a big time name. Then again, maybe that’s been our problem all along. Kids committing because of a high profile coach and not because they just want to be a GATOR.

  7. GG says:

    Dont think Kerwin is a big enough name for this hire. Not going to bring in recruits but would probably do a great job.

    • ziggy says:

      All he has to do is a great job for 1 year to get recruits’ attention.

      Adam – You’re tuned in to recruiting and how some of these guys think. How do you think Kerwin Bell would do at selling his offense to this years recruits?

  8. Joe says:

    What are the chances that he hires Major Applewhite as the OC and QB coach? I hope very slim.

    • g8ter27 says:

      Huh? He is back? I thought he went out with that heavens gate cult back in the 90s. That dude was weird. Wait, nevermind, that was Marshall Applewhite.

  9. triplegator says:

    Bell is an interesting choice. I have to say, I don’t know much about his offense. I was thinking maybe Rick Neuheisel, but I don’t know how he would adjust to coahing on the other coast and he is not that well known here.

  10. Jesse says:

    I would like to see someone who bleeds orange and blue on the sideline, someone calling the plays who was successful doing it at his alma mater as a player, someone who is up and coming, someone who really wants the job…. hiring Kerwin Bell sounds like a good fit to me… similar to when we first hired Spurrier. Could be a second coming of sorts. If not KW, then who else is on the radar?

  11. Marc Mac says:

    Do you know who is supposed to officially visit this weekend, and if any have canceled?

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