Hill’s resignation surprises Muschamp

Florida football coach Will Muschamp was “very surprised” while his players and staffers were “very disappointed” to learn about Aubrey Hill’s resignation during a team meeting on Thursday night.

Hill, who coached Gators receivers and served as recruiting coordinator, was well liked by players and coaches alike. Muschamp said he’ll “always be a Gator,” while meeting with the media for almost 11 minutes after the first day of fall camp on Friday evening.

Muschamp, sporting a ball cap and orange T-shirt that read “Florida Football” across the front, said it was Hill’s decision, not his. A release by the school Friday morning quoted Hill as saying he didn’t want to be a “distraction.”

“It’s a personal situation with Aubrey, (and) has nothing to do with the University of Florida,” Muschamp said. “I wish him well.”

Hill has been named in Yahoo! Sports reports alleging he had knowledge of former University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro’s involvement with three recruits — including current Gators receiver Andrew Debose — while Hill was an assistant at Miami. Debose, as well as offensive lineman Matt Patchan, were cleared to play when the initial report surfaced last season.

Asked who would handle Hill’s recruiting coordinator duties, Muschamp offered a simple response.

“You’re looking at him — everyday,” Muschamp said.  “That title don’t mean a whole lot to me. I’m the recruiting coordinator and I handle recruiting and recruit every player we have.”

Bush Hamdan, a former back-up quarterback for first-year UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease at Boise State, will serve as receivers coach on a interim basis. Muschamp said he would evaluate that position, as far as who coaches it, in December.

“(Hamdan) is a guy who is a really good, young football coach,” Muschamp said. “He was working at Maryland for Ralph Freidgen when James Franklin took the Vanderbilt job and he coached the quarterbacks for Maryland in the bowl game. A very mature guy (and) an outstanding football coach.”

Muschamp continued by saying Pease would assist in coaching receivers, something he already was doing as coordinator anyway.  He also said he has “all the confidence in the world,” in Hamdan being able to handle his increased role.

“I feel very comfortable about that situation — I never blinked,” Muschamp said. “We’re going to be fine and we’re going to do what we have to do.”

Muschamp said he’ll handle Hill’s recruiting area, but had not discussed whether Hamdan would go on the road to recruit. The NCAA allows nine coaches per team to leave campus to recruit prospects, so Hill’s departure leaves the Gators one short in that aspect.

“We haven’t gone that far,” Muschamp said. 

Hamdan would need to pass an NCAA recruiting rules exam before being cleared to recruit on the road. It’s a 30-question test, and 24 correct answers allow a coach to hit the road to recruit.

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Mike Capshaw brings a wealth of experience to the Gator Country team. He’s been overseeing all editorial aspects of GatorCountry.com and Gator Country magazine by managing our team of staffers, interns and freelancers. He is now moving into a bigger role as a reporter by covering the football and basketball beats as well as providing coverage of all sports on campus. Mike’s 15 years in the business has included more than six years of covering SEC sports and recruiting at a daily newspaper in Arkansas. He has also helped launch a newspaper, magazines, websites and even a sports talk radio show. Because Mike puts family ahead of his career, he left the place where he was established when his wife received an opportunity to further her career at UF. He took a leap of faith that he could find a job in the Gainesville area and worked for a year at a newspaper group before joining the Gator Country family in November, 2011. Mike has won Florida Press Association awards for Best Sports Game Story and Best Sports Feature Story in the past two years as well as a company-wide award at his former newspaper group that includes some 60 publications, for Excellence in Sports Reporting. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeCapshawGC.