Florida head coach Will Muschamp has been a fireball of emotion on the sidelines early in his career with the Gators, and nothing riles him up more than a bad call from the officials.
When the referees didn’t call punt catch interference on Auburn on Saturday night and Chris Rainey subsequently muffed a punt, Muschamp flew off the handle.
His tirade was caught on camera by the ESPN crew filming the game, and an expletive-filled rant (warning: language) was picked up by the live audio feed.
The video was posted online and viewed by thousands of people, prompting the Florida head coach to comment on it at his Tuesday press conference.
“I do want to apologize for my language on the sidelines the other night,” Muschamp said. “That’s not something that’s going to be tolerated here at the University of Florida. That’s certainly not representative of what this program and this university is about.”
Muschamp has been adamant since he arrived at Florida that he won’t change his demeanor as a coach now that he’s in charge of a program.
The former defensive coordinator has had other instances where his expletive-laced encouragement to his players was caught live on national television.
Most famously, he earned the nickname “Coach Boom” for a segment that became an instant YouTube hit (warning: language) when he was defensive coordinator at Auburn in 2007.
The Tigers came up with a big defensive stand against the Arkansas Razorbacks, and Muschamp ran down the sidelines vigorously congratulating his players.
His fiery demeanor has been one of the things that has endeared Muschamp to players in the past, and it’s something he doesn’t want to lose.
However, Muschamp said Tuesday that there’s a line in the dirt and he crossed it. He admitted he needs to clean up his language
“It’s hard when you’ve got a 6-year-old and a 10-year-old at home and you’ve got to go home and explain to them what you said,” the first-year head coach said. “So that’s not good and that’s not how we’re going to run our program.”
Muschamp was not asked if he was contacted by anyone in the SEC office or athletics director Jeremy Foley, but he was clear that he’s only focused on cleaning up his language.
The fiery rants and getting into officials’ ears are likely here to stay.
“Again, as far as the sideline stuff’s concerned, we’re going to be who we are,” he said. “I’m just apologizing for the language, nothing else.”