Florida Gators Football: Will Muschamp Notebook

There was a different setting for Muschamp Monday.

A day after the announcement that Will Muschamp will step down as Florida Gators head coach following the season, Muschamp met with the media for his weekly press conference. University President Dr. Bernie Machen and Athletic Director Jeremy Foley started the press conference.

Here is some of what Machen, Foley and Muschamp had to say:

Machen on the team’s off-field performance under Muschamp:

“Just looking at the academic performance of our student athletes, the APR is 979 this spring, which is 10 points above the national average for football. Will has had 68 players that are academic All SEC, he has graduated 44 players with degrees. The composite GPA this last spring was the highest in the history of our university for the sport of football. His players have been very active in the community, we’re proud of that, and previously unknown Mike McNeely was his biggest accomplishment was being awarded a Florida Presidential Service Award during the ’13 14 school year, and he might have had a few since then.”

Foley on Muschamp’s contributions to the program:

“Will Muschamp is a good, good person. That is why this is so tough for everybody. He’s also a very good football coach, he has a track record. He’s won a lot of championships in his career; he’ll win more, I promise you that. It just was not been working here as we all envisioned and certainly not as he envisioned when he came aboard four years ago. When things are not working as envisioned, you’ve got to make a difficult decision despite the tremendous effort that he put in and that is why we’re here today. On a personal level I will miss working with Will, he represents everything that is right about college athletics. That’s not lip service that’s the truth. The environment inside our building is the best it’s ever been because of Will.”

Muschamp on Sunday’s news:

“I want to thank Jeremy and Dr. Martin for their support. It’s been outstanding. I stand by my statement yesterday, and that’s that we didn’t win enough football games, that’s the bottom line. You got to win games, and we didn’t get that done. Very disappointed and frustrated that did not happen. Certainly had our opportunities this year, keeping a healthy roster and having the opportunity to win football games, and we didn’t get it done, certainly Saturday was a great example of that. But I know this locker room is better than it was four years ago, there is no question about that and where we’ve come, and I appreciate our players and how they’ve handled a very difficult season. You come off of 4 8 year regardless of the circumstances, from last year, you go through this year and there is littlemargin of error and there is a bullseye on you.”

Muschamp on the players and relationships he’s built over time:

“They got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you he ain’t got no players, tell you that right now. They got some good football players in that locker room. I feel like we’ve headed the right direction at quarterback, as far as the depth and quality of the guys you got in the room, both lines of scrimmage, talented secondary as I’ve been around as far as those guys coming back, linebackers, you know, you got some good players.”

Muschamp on the relationships he’s built over time:

“Special place, special people and I don’t leave with any hard feelings or regrets at all. After being here and the relationships that have been built, you know, yesterday you’re getting texts from people and whether it was Texas or Auburn or LSU or the Miami Dolphins, of people you have built relationships with and that’s what this is. The people are what makes it a special place and this is a great place to work.”


“Injury-wise, disappointed that Jarrad Davis had a meniscus surgery this morning. He will be out for the season, and Neiron Ball had a meniscus surgery as well. He had to have a microfracture repair, so he’s going to be non weightbearing bearing for six weeks and probably out for four months, so extremely disappointed for both those guys, and both having great years, and certainly get those guys rehabbed as quickly as possible.”

If there were anything Muschamp would have done differently:

“Sure, there is no question. It’s frustrating to see guys stand in this day and say ‘I wouldn’t have changed anything,’ well, hey, you’d have gotten fired again. The way I look at it, there’s things in my mind that you always go back and look at in your tenure, whether you’re a administrator, a coach, a CEO of a business, you would have maybe done some things differently looking back, but I always look back at the decisions at why you made the decision at the time, and as long as you rationally can look at the decision and say these were the parameters, it’s easy after it’s over with to say, ‘Well, that wasn’t a very good decision,” so, you know, sure there’s things that you do differently, there is no question about that, but I don’t think that’s attributed to being a first year coach, I don’t think that’s it, I think there are things that, you know, occur and happen and you got to be able to manage those situations better/differently however they are, but that’s for me, I kind of handle it like that way. I’m not going to make a public debate over that.”

Muschamp on the difficulties in addressing the team:

“You know, hard, you spend a lot of time with these guys and they’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do, as far as on and off the field, so I’m going to root for these guys as hard as anybody. I want the University of Florida to be successful. I will always will be a Gator, unless I’m on the other sideline, but I always will want these guys to be successful in what they do and I always will be there for them, there’s no question about that. You spend as much time with these guys as you do your own kids, sad to say, but I do, and I look at these young men as my own.”

Muschamp’s message to the players:

“A great example in life. You can work really hard, and you can be diligent in what you do, but you’ve got to have results in life, whether you’re in the business world or in the coaching profession, it really doesn’t matter, you’ve got to produce, so, you know, it’s kind of like players tell me all the time, ‘Well, I’m tryin’ hard,’ well I know, but you’re not producing so we got to go with somebody else. So kind of that’s the message I had for them, let’s learn a lesson you got to produce in life, if you’re a salesman you got to sell, if you’re a football coach you got to win, so that’s the bottom line.”

Muschamp on nothing changing the final two weeks:

“Well, I mean, I’ve been with these guys, I brought these guys on this campus and I told them the football team, you’re not going to see anything different. Caleb, you jump off sides, I’m going to rip you, and that’s going to happen, ain’t going to see anything different. We’re going to coach these guys hard. They deserve that, the University of Florida deserves that, I’m totally invested for two weeks to be the coach at Florida and that’s what we’re trying to do. Not going to do anything different. I went home a little earlier yesterday, I took my laptop home and did a little work. I came in this morning, we started breaking down Eastern Kentucky defensively. Nothing changes. We are going to be on the practice field this afternoon, look forward to it.”

Previous articleSobering reality sinks in for Florida Gators
Next articleWomen’s hoops improves to 2-0
Ryan Randall
From Melbourne, Florida, Ryan has lived in Florida since he was three, becoming a sports fan around that age. His passion for journalism rivals his love of sports. Shortly out of high school he covered prep and community sports for his hometown paper in Brevard Country, before moving to Gainesville, where he covered the Gators in the pros as well as prep sports for a few publications. A Telecommunications major at UF, Ryan now interns at Gator Country and ecstatic to showcase his talents for the publication. When not working on stories, Ryan enjoys playing basketball, music, as well as art. Follow Ryan at @_RyanRandall_