On December 11, 2010 the head coach in waiting at Texas was given his first head-coaching gig at the University of Florida.
Will Muschamp spent 1,460 days as the head coach of the Florida Gators compiling a 28-20 (17-15 SEC) record heading into the final game of the 2014 season against No. 1 Florida State.
The first season he took over a locker room and a program that his predecessor deemed “broken” and the Gators’ first 8-4 season under Muschamp was — while frustrating losing four straight SEC games — deemed a success with a bowl victory over Ohio State in the Gator Bowl.
The next season brought even more success with the Gators finishing 11-2 after earing a spot in the Sugar Bowl.
The Muschamp roller coaster dipped low in 2013 before coming to a rocky and abrupt end in 2014.
Five biggest wins
1. Florida State, 2012
The Seminoles have won 27-consecutive games with their last loss coming to the Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium in 2012. This was Muschamp’s first win over his friend Jimbo Fisher and the Gators’ first win over Florida State since 2009.
This win also kept the 10-1 Gators alive and in the hunt for a national championship. Florida wouldn’t get into the championship game but this win over Florida State was big for the program and the coach.
2. Georgia, 2014
Muschamp walked into he press conference following a 38-20 victory over Georgia and took the monkey off of his back. As a player, Muschamp was 0-4 against Florida and prior to this win he was 0-3 as a head coach.
Coming into this game the Gators had lost their two previous contests, including a 42-13 homecoming loss to Missouri. The win not only ended a personal losing streak to Georgia for Muschamp and the Gators but it also kept them in the hunt in the SEC.
3. LSU, 2012
This was Will Muschamp football at its finest. The Gators ran the ball 28-consecutive times to end the game and held on to win 14-6 at home. Florida went into the locker room down 6-0 but turned to senior Mike Gillislee in the second half to secure the win. Gillislee scored twice in the half on his way to 146 rushing yards.
4. FAU, 2011
It wasn’t the flashiest win or even the best in the Muschamp era but it was the first. Chris Rainey scored a touchdown three different ways (rushing, receiving, returning) and Florida rolled to a 41-3 victory in Muschamp’s head coaching debut.
5. Texas A&M, 2012
A hurricane had derailed Johnny Manziel and the Aggies true opening game of the season so their season opener would come against Muschamp and he Gators.
Florida entered this game 0-5 under Muschamp when trailing at halftime. The Gators went into the break down 17-10. However, in the second half today the Gators began controlling the line of scrimmage and played more disciplined on their way to a 20-17 win in College Station.
This win set the tone for the 2012 season and propelled the Gators the rest of the way.
1. Georgia Southern, 2013
This was the low point of the Will Muschamp era and of a 2013 season that is regrettably unforgettable. Injuries had long scarred the Gators by the time the Eagles flew in to town but were no excuse for a program like Florida to lose a game like this. In the end, this will be the one game that Muschamp cannot hide from or get over and will stain his legacy at Florida.
2 . Vanderbilt, 2013
The Commodores hadn’t beaten Florida since 1986 and hadn’t won in Gainesville since 1945. There was no excuse for the Gators to show up flat for homecoming but they did and James Franklin and Vanderbilt took it to the Gators.
3. Missouri, 2014
42-0 at halftime and the crowd was chanting “Fire Muschamp” before the game was over. More damning than the cheer itself is where it came from. Not from the rowdy student section that could overreact, missing the big picture, but from the alumni section — the pocketbook of the program.
4. Miami, 2013
This will likely be the last tie Florida and Miami play in the regular season — at least for the foreseeable future. The Gators continually shot themselves in the foot in a 21-16 turnover ridden loss. This was the turning point in the perception of Muschamp and quarterback Jeff Driskel for many fans.
5. Louisville, 2013
Gator fans were upset and the team was let down as well. Florida had been perfect in 2012 — a hiccup in Jacksonville and a loss to the Dawgs aside. A win over Florida State to end the season kept the Gators in title contention but the loss to Georgia kept them out of the SEC Championship game and a Notre Dame win over USC vaulted the Irish into the championship game over the Gators.
Florida looked like a team that was unfocused and upset that they didn’t get into the national championship when they took on Charlie Strong and the Louisville Cardinals. Teddy Bridgewater carved up the Florida secondary in a 33-23 Louisville victory.
Did the highs outweigh the lows or were the losses during the Muschamp era too much for any amount of winning to over come? How will you look back on the Muschamp era in 10 years? Let us know in the comment section below and on the message board.