Florida head coach Will Muschamp wants staff, players to do what is best for their careers

By Adam Silverstein
November 26, 2012

A common theme emerged during Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp’s weekly press conference on Monday when the man in charge was asked about his feelings on coaches potentially leaving for other jobs and juniors on his team considering departing early to play professionally in the NFL.

His stance? Do it – if it advances your career.

Already having replaced two coaches in his second year on the job, Muschamp is not afraid of staff turnover and said Monday that he is certainly prepared should that occur despite the fact that he does not anticipate anyone leaving at this point in time.

“This is a great place to work and we’ve got a good, young football team, and we’re going to be good for a long time,” he said.

“I always tell our staff this: ‘If you have an opportunity for a promotion … I support you 1,000 percent.’ That says what kind of job we’re doing here at Florida.”

Muschamp was sure to make a distinction between coaches leaving to advance their careers – a position coach becoming a coordinator, a coordinator becoming a head coach – and others who are perhaps more impatient and would move on only changing their polo shirt and not their job title.

“Guys that want to make parallel moves and they’re always looking for the next job, they don’t need to be here anyway. We’ll go find a good coach. There’s a bunch of people that want to coach here. There’s a long list…right on my desk,” he quipped.

Read the rest of this story…after the break!

The one position for which he expects to utilize that list is wide receiver coach, which was vacated when Aubrey Hill resigned before the season. Muschamp promoted graduate assistant Bush Hamdan to an interim role but said he will be looking at other candidates in the offseason.

“I’m going to talk to some receiver coaches at this point. Bush and I met [Sunday]. He’s done a fantastic job this year. How we move forward and the timetable, I have none right now,” he said.

Muschamp also believes that juniors with a rare opportunity to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft should leave school early and take advantage of their talents. In a similar vein to his stance on coaches leaving for a parallel job, he cautions that players who are not projected to go that high would be better off staying put and trying to improve.

“Anyone that has the opportunity to apply for an evaluation from the NFL office, I encourage those players to do that. I encourage the players to submit those papers, number one. Then is it down with them and give them the input I’ve gotten from NFL people. Some agent isn’t going to give you the right information, I can assure you of that,” he said.

“We have a good process here, just being very honest and open with our players. If a guy is going to be a first-round draft pick, I’m going to probably tell him to go to the NFL. That’s just my policy. If he’s not and he can improve himself, then I suggest he comes back. The statistics speak for themselves in the guys that come back and graduate play longer in the National Football League. That’s the bottom line.

“Again, that’s all a personal decision. It’s a family decision. It’s not [my decision]. It’s my job to get them the right information, which a lot of times, there is not the right information out there. That’s important for me to give them the right information.”

Those NFL conversations have already begun between Muschamp and his players. The coach noted that he spoke to a few Gators on Sunday and Monday and will continue to do so though decisions certainly will not be made until after the bowl game.

Muschamp proved a lot of people wrong in his second year at Florida, turning around what he called a “soft” program in 2011 into arguably the toughest team in the nation all while bringing the Gators back from mediocrity to the nationally relevant power than they were for so long.

He has already proven that he can handle obstacles quite well. Replacing a few coaches or players could very well be just as easy as he makes it sound.


  1. MAR says:

    I am assuming Elam will go pro. I hope to see Floyd and Easely back.

  2. Doug says:

    I think, if he retired, Randy Moss would be a perfect fit for our recievers coach.

  3. Walt P says:

    Wow got to love this guy. Go Will

  4. Stanleyclay says:

    Go find Dwayne DIXON fl. wide receiver coach during Steve Spurrier 10 years at florida. Look at all the WIDE Receivers he produce and put in the N.F..L. He is one of the best Wide receiver coaches in the nation.. You will not regret it..TO top it off he played at Florida. You cannot believe how he can teach these guys how to come back for the ball and most inportant how to get off the line of scriminage.

  5. Courtney says:

    My only real worries are elam,Floyd, reed and easley. Losing two starting dl would hurt us bad. We are really deep at tight end and our secondary will be stacked next year.even if we lose a few guys

    • Tractorr says:

      One thing we have going is it seems like there will be a lot of DL going in this draft, so maybe they think twice about going. Also, while both were very very solid they were not dominant. Much of the success of the defense was based on play as a team. The only real standout was Elam (and even he wasn’t a standout every game).

  6. Timmy T says:

    I think anyone who is on the possible bubble of leaving early should think long and hard about staying another year. It should be a “no-brainer” type of decision to leave. A 1st round pick for sure with no chance of slipping to the 2nd kinda thing. That said, you never fully know the financial hardships these kid’s families may be dealing with. I wish whomever decides to go pro the very best of luck and I give many thanks for their efforts to represent the Gator Nation with class.

  7. VO2Max says:

    If all these Juniors return, Florida will be a preseason top 3, maybe number 1.

    • Tractorr says:

      I doubt we get all the juniors back as some projections have Elam as the number 2 safety in the draft. If he were to get selected there at lowest that means a high second round.

  8. Aligator says:

    I doubt that any of the potential ones we have talked about would be a sure first rounder, although, some people have taken the idiot pill as of late and just jumped on out there. i can see the three of them on defense doing it, but we are good on DL and will continue to get better across the board. they gots to get paid!!

  9. Courtney says:

    We have good ends, but we are thin at tackle. We will get Powell at buck… back but after orr and Jacobs its kinda slim.

  10. G2 says:

    Think Elam and Floyd are gone. Easley and Reed should stay for sure, both likely to be first rounders next year. Still think Reed has a lot to learn at TE plus goes down way too easy.
    Be great if these guys got together and decided to come back and win it all next year!

  11. Rory says:

    I believe they all stay. With Floyd’s adoption finances are not a problem. To get an education after all of the hardships I believe will be a sticking point. Elam I believe stays due to his brother helping him out. I don’t see anyone else leaving early. When that recruiting class came in they called themselves something ( can’t recall ). However with Ropo and Easly staying I think that’s a draw to Floyd ( being Easly’s daughter’s god father ) and the bond and unselfishness among everyone else, I know these guys want a title and next year could be magical!!!

  12. Gators22 says:

    I don’t know what to read into this, or if anyone else hung around to see it too.

    But, after the end of the Jacksonville State game, all the other players had gone into the locker room after the alma mater…. Easley and Floyd were around midfield with their families, posing for pictures. Then, they gave each other hive fives and left together….the last two off the field.

    Could’ve just been that they had their families in town and it was the last game of the year.

  13. Gmoney says:

    Floyd is the only one going. Floyd is a beast and our most dominant player. Elam is on the bubble (possible 1st round) and Easly will be back. For the guy that said floyd wasnt that dominant, your crazy or didnt watch any game this season. As for next season I am excited and funny thing is no one ever mentions the fact that we probably get our best Def player back next year in powell! EXCITED!

  14. Phillip says:

    Nobody has mentioned Jelani Jenkins as a possibility for leaving early. He was hurt for a good portion of the season, but overall he had a solid showing this season. I really doubt he leaves, but if he did that would really hurt not having his leadership with all the young LB”s we will be bringing in next year.

  15. Uf_84 says:

    I agree with stanleyclay about Dwayne Dixon. Wide receiver was always one of our deepest positions when he was coaching here in the 90’s. that seemed to have ended the day he left. I’d love to see Coach bring him back.

  16. MAR says:

    Agreed on Dixon. Bing him back!

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