UF Press Release:
One-Time Gainesville Native Will Muschamp Returns To Coach Florida Gators
University of Florida Director of Athletics Jeremy Foley announced on Saturday the hiring of Will Muschamp as the school’s next head football coach. Muschamp, 39, comes to UF after being the coach-in-waiting at the University of Texas since November 2008 and is a one-time Gainesville native who will return to North Central Florida as the 23rd head coach in Florida football history.
Muschamp, a 16-year coaching veteran, has 12 years of experience in the Southeastern Conference, eight as a coach and four as a player. Muschamp served as defensive coordinator at Auburn University (2006-07) and LSU (2002-04; he was LSU’s linebackers coach in 2001) and was a finalist for the 2007 Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach. The son of a football coach, he turned down appointments at West Point and Annapolis to become a four-year letterman as a safety at the University of Georgia from 1991-94, where he was voted defensive co-captain as a senior.
“This is a dream come true to be the head coach of the Florida
Gators,” said Muschamp, who spent 10 years of his childhood living on
27th Street in this city. “I grew up watching the Gators and whatever
other SEC team was on television. I have great memories watching SEC
football with my father on Saturdays and playing football in the back
yard with my two brothers right here in Gainesville.”
“I’m eager to get to work and represent this great institution,”
Muschamp continued. “I’m very thankful for the opportunity given to
me by President Dr. Bernie Machen and Athletics Director Jeremy Foley. I promise to bring a tremendous amount of passion and energy to work every day and my goal is to have our team bring the same type of attitude in everything we do, both on and off the field. I want our team to play hard, with relentless effort and with toughness. We want to make The Gator Nation proud.”
Not only does Muschamp, a highly-respected coach among both his peers and his players, bring collegiate and NFL experience back to
Gainesville, he also brings a wealth of big-game experience. He has
coached in two national championship games, winning the ultimate prize in 2003 while defensive coordinator at LSU, and coached in a third BCS bowl game following the 2008 season, when Texas won the Fiesta Bowl. In addition to his national championship past, Muschamp has coached in the SEC Championship Game twice and in the Big 12 Championship Game once, coming out on the winning side in each of those three contests.
“We are thrilled to have Coach Muschamp lead our football program,”
said Foley. “Coach Muschamp is someone we targeted from the beginning and he is the guy we wanted. He is the only person we met with and the only person we offered the job to. When we started the search for our next head coach we wanted a coach who was familiar with the Southeastern Conference. We wanted a candidate who was a relentless recruiter and was familiar with recruiting in the state of Florida. We wanted a candidate who was high energy and had been on the big stage. We wanted a candidate who was respected by his players and his peers and we wanted someone who had a passion for the University of Florida. Coach Muschamp is all of those things and more. He is a grounded family man with a wonderful wife and two children and we welcome them into our Gator family.”
With great excitement and enthusiasm, I, and the entire Gator Nation,
welcome Coach Muschamp to the University of Florida," said President
Bernie Machen. "We look forward to continued great success on and off the field under his proven leadership. This is a great day for all
In his five seasons as an SEC defensive coordinator, Muschamp’s
defenses ranked among the nation’s top 10 in total defense every
single year, while always maintaining a top-15 rating in scoring
defense, including three times inside the top 10.
In four of his eight seasons overall as a Division I defensive
coordinator, the high-energy coach’s team has allowed under 100 yards
rushing per game and has twice led the nation in rushing defense while
yielding less than 75 yards rushing per game. His 2003 LSU defense led
the country by allowing 67 yards per game on the ground, the best mark
by an SEC team in the 2000s, while Texas gave up just 73.1 yards on the ground in 2009 to pace the nation.
Over the past three seasons, the Texas defense ranks No. 1 in the
nation with 119 sacks for 949 yards lost. His unit also rates in the top
10 nationally from 2008-10 in several other major categories, allowing
2.9 yards per rushing attempt (third), 96.7 rushing yards per game
(fourth), 297.4 yards per game (seventh), all of which are Big 12 bests
during that span. He also helped the Longhorns’ defense to top-20
rankings during his tenure at Texas, with 650 first downs allowed (18th)
and a 114.3 pass efficiency defense (20th).
In 2009, the Texas Longhorns advanced to the BCS National Championship Game as Muschamp’s charges gave up a nation’s-low 73.1 rushing yards per game, the best figure by any BCS school over the past three seasons. The Longhorns also led the nation in third-down defense (26.5 percent), turnovers created (37, tied with Ohio University) and interceptions (25) as Texas claimed the Big 12 championship in 2009.
Under Muschamp’s guidance at Texas, Brian Orakpo claimed the 2008
Rotary Lombardi Award (lineman of the year), Bronko Nagurski Trophy
(most outstanding defensive player) and Ted Hendricks Award (top
defensive end), while the Longhorns’ defense saw Sergio Kindle become
the first player in college football history to be named a finalist for
both the Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker) and the Hendricks
Award. Earl Thomas also earned finalist honors for the Jim Thorpe Award in 2009.
In the 2009 and 2010 NFL Drafts, Muschamp had a combined eight players drafted, including seven in the first four rounds and two first-rounders in Orakpo and Thomas.
His 2003 LSU defense helped the Tigers to the national championship by leading the nation both in scoring defense (11.0 points per game) and
total defense (252.0 yards per game), while finishing second nationally
in pass efficiency defense (89.8) and third in rushing defense (67.0
yards per game). The Tigers allowed just 19 touchdowns all season in
2003, three less than the next closest competitor nationally.
Between his positions at LSU and Auburn, Muschamp spent a season with the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins in 2005 as Assistant Head Coach for Defense. He helped the Dolphins finish second in the league with 49 sacks, while leading Miami to top-10 finishes with 4.7 yards per play (seventh), 3.7 yards per rush (seventh) and 6.0 yards per pass (ninth).
The 1994 graduate of the University of Georgia moved immediately into
coaching following his collegiate career, working as a graduate
assistant at Auburn from 1995-96, earning his master’s degree in 1996.
He became a secondary coach at West Georgia (1998) and Eastern Kentucky (1999) before moving on to his first defensive coordinator position at Valdosta State for the 2000 season, where he helped the Blazers to a 10-2 record and the Gulf South Conference championship with an 8-1 league mark.
In his playing career at Georgia, Muschamp earned his way from walk-on to scholarship player by the spring of his redshirt freshman season and eventually was named co-captain for his senior season. He also earned a spot on SEC Academic Honor Roll in 1993.
Muschamp and his wife, Carol, have two sons, Jackson and Whit.
2008-10 Texas (Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers)
2006-07 Auburn (Defensive Coordinator/Secondary)
2005 Miami Dolphins (Assistant Head Coach for Defense)
2002-04 LSU (Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers)
2001 LSU (Linebackers)
2000 Valdosta State (Defensive Coordinator)
1999 Eastern Kentucky (Secondary)
1998 West Georgia (Secondary)
1995-96 Auburn (Graduate Assistant)
THE WILL MUSCHAMP FILE
Birthdate: August 3, 1971
Hometown: Rome, Ga.
Education: 1994 – Bachelor’s degree (Georgia); 1996 –
Master’s degree (Auburn)
Family: Married to Carol Muschamp (formerly Davis). Has two
sons: Jackson (9) and Whit (7)
BOWL GAMES AS A COACH
2010 BCS National Championship Texas
2009 Fiesta Bowl Texas
2007 Chick-Fil-A Auburn
2007 Cotton Auburn
2005 Capital One LSU
2004 Sugar/BCS Championship LSU
2003 Cotton LSU
2002 Sugar LSU
1996 Independence Auburn
1995 Outback Auburn
BOWL GAMES AS A PLAYER
1993 Citrus Georgia
1991 Independence Georgia
● He is the second-youngest head coach in the SEC (Dan Mullen is
● Had a 17-inch steel rod inserted in his leg after breaking his
tibia and fibula as a junior on his high school baseball team
● Keeps the steel rod in a shadowbox in his office to remind
players about overcoming adversity
● Visited Florida as a senior in high school in hopes of earning a
chance to walk on to the football team
● Father, Larry, played football at North Carolina and later
coached football in Rome, Ga.
● Oldest brother, Mike, played football at Duke and is now a high
school coach in Atlanta, Ga.
● Older brother, Pat, was an offensive lineman at West Point
● Was on LSU staff with Jimbo Fisher and Derek Dooley under Nick
● Was awarded a scholarship at Georgia in the spring of his
● Was teammates with Alabama Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart at
● Also was on same staff with Smart at Valdosta State
● Graduated from Darlington High School in Georgia, lettering in
football (four years), basketball (three years), track (four years) and
baseball (four years).
Urban Meyer quote on hiring of Will Muschamp
"Coach Muschamp is a great hire for the University of Florida. He is a relentless recruiter and brings a tremendous amount of energy and passion to the game. I would run into him on the road often on the recruiting trail and have always impressed with him as a coach and a person."
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp
is leaving the Longhorns to be the head coach at Florida.
Muschamp succeeds Urban Meyer, who won two national
championships in six seasons with the Gators but resigned Wednesday
after a 7-5 season.
The 39-year-old Muschamp spent three seasons at Texas, where he
was the head-coach-in-waiting to succeed Mack Brown.
Muschamp, who once lived in Gainesville as a child, says taking
over the Florida program is a "dream come true."
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley says in a statement that
Muschamp is the "only person we met with and the only person we
offered the job to."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)