Well, it has happened, Florida football coach Will Muschamp has gotten the dreaded vote of confidence from both the university’s president and athletic director. As we all know, that probably means he’ll be fired at the end of the season.
In a strange twist, South Carolina head coach (and former Florida coach) Steve Spurrier also voiced his support for the embattled Muschamp.
The Gators have dropped four straight games and are currently 4-5 and 3-4 in the SEC. They were soundly beaten at home by Vanderbilt 34-17 on homecoming last Saturday. It was Vanderbilt’s first win at Florida since 1945. Take that in for a second. Vanderbilt hadn’t beaten the Gators in Gainsville since the year World War II ended.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley had the following to say about Muschamp:
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’s what is going to happen here. And Coach Muschamp is the one that will fix it.
Muschamp is in his third season as Florida’s coach and he has a 22-13 record overall, and a 13-10 record in the SEC. He is also 1-1 in bowl games. The 42-year-old has five years left on his contract at an average salary of $2.9 million per year.
University president Bernie Machen echoed Foley’s support for Muschamp:
I want the Gator Nation to know that I have full confidence in Coach Muschamp and his leadership of the football program.
Then, oddly, Spurrier chimed in with his support:
I admire the way he coaches his team, runs the show down there. Last year, I think he was SEC Coach of the Year. I think after they beat FSU they were third in the country in that BCS poll, and if Notre Dame had lost to Southern Cal, I believe Florida would have been in the national championship game last year.
Obviously this year they’ve had a rash of injuries all over the team that’s really hurt them. But they’ve still got plenty of ballplayers and they’re still a very hard-nosed, physical-type team.
Florida has suffered a rash of serious injuries, as 10 players have been lost for the season. But with the team now below .500 on the year, it will be hard to justify keeping Muschamp on around, especially since the team’s offense has looked brutal for two solid years now.
Florida fans won’t stand for a losing season, especially with former assistant coach Charlie Strong leading Louisville to back-to-back successful seasons. If Florida offered Strong the job, there is almost no doubt he would take it.
Muschamp’s time could almost be up at Florida, regardless of what the higher-ups at the school say.