Foley made list checked it twice to pick Muschamp

By Adam Silverstein
December 13, 2010

When Urban Meyer resigned as head football coach of the Florida Gators on Wednesday, athletic director Jeremy Foley had already known for four days. After Meyer explained his decision to Foley the prior Saturday, the man who hired him in the first place and is one of the best at his position in the country compiled a list of the top coaches in the nation who could re place him.

That list did not contain Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

In an interview conducted with GatorZone senior writer Scott Carter on Monday, Foley admitted that his first list contained “all the names that everybody has talked about” except for one. “Will wasn’t on that list,” he said.

It wasn’t until Sunday morning that Foley began “thinking Muschamp,” realizing he could very well end up being the right guy for the job. “The more research you did on Will and the more you read about him, the more you watched him […] his familiarity with this league really intrigued me. When we got back [to Gainesville, FL], we kind of honed in on him very, very quickly.”

After sending Meyer off into the proverbial sunset three days later, Foley got on the horn with Muschamp – the first of many calls between the two men. As OGGOA previously reported, Foley flew over to Austin, TX, Saturday morning, met with Muschamp all day and eventually left with a new head coach.

“We obviously had done a lot of research on this,” Foley said. “After we sat down with him for that length of time, it was pretty evident early on that this was the guy. I think when people meet him tomorrow night [at the press conference] they will see that. […] He has a great plan to win. He wants to be here. He is ready to be a head coach in our opinion. And when you talk face-to-face, it’s impressive.”

One other note: Contrary to popular opinion, Florida hoped to announce its hiring of Muschamp after the Heisman Trophy ceremony and did not wish to upstage the event in any way. According to Carter, he plan was for Muschamp to speak with his family and Texas officials while Florida’s contingent returned to Gainesville to set everything up.

“UF officials sought to work with the Heisman Trophy Committee to make sure the news broke after the Heisman ceremony in New York, but once the news leaked out beforehand, UF sent out an official release to confirm the news for the media,” Carter explained on Monday.

Photo Credit: Associated Press



    Awesome. Can’t remember the last time I was this excited for a press conference

  2. Gatorgrad79 says:

    I’m actually surprised that the press did not report on the Muschamp negotiations as soon as the UF jet landed in Texas! As for announcing prior to the heisman show – WHOGAS? I wasn’t going to watch it no matter – the results were never in question, and I didn’t really care anyway.

  3. John S says:

    Is the Kirby Smart report accurate? If Foley pulled that off then we are in business.

  4. Josh says:

    Adam what are you hearing about Smart. If we get him like a lot of people are reporting this defense is going to be lights out…

  5. John S says:

    Rant: Who cares if the announcement came during Cams’ ceremony? Wikileaks should have released his academic records just moments before the show. I would feel better if it was on purpose.

    Cam Newton did achieve the trifecta. It is rare for a player to achieve academic violations, legal violations, and amateur status violations in a one year Div 1 career. It takes a true commitment to weather all of those storms that you brought upon yourself and still garner the support of the press. It speaks to the failures of sports media that he will be the face of college football for the next year. Just because lots of players screw up and do similar things, when you get busted you still should get some punishment. If you look up the definition of “bad example” Cam’s s*** eating grin is planted right next to it.

    Cam is a great athlete and he will likely receive plenty of other awards, a NT and a NFL contract, he didn’t need a Heisman.


    @John S….you realize this post is about Will Muschamp and Jeremy Foley right? There is not one mention of Cam Newtown’s name in this article. If you want to cry about him, you should go to the Auburn forums. It’s pathetic

  7. John S says:

    @gatornationspresident ….Read the post idiot, the part where the timing of the press release coincided with an ex gator receiving the heisman. Not fully reading an article is pathetic. I said what should have been said by press for the last 3 months. It’s all fact, if you want to speak up for that jacka** please hang out on the Auburn forums.


    @John S….I’m not speaking up for him, I simply said his name wasn’t mentioned at all in this article and your whole previous post was slandering him. I prefer to focus on the positive—the great hire of Will Muschamp, then the off-topic negative—Cam Newton. Notice how everyone else’s comments on here are about Muschamp/Foley, while yours is entirely about Cam Newton? Go Gators

  9. g8ter27 says:

    I am hearing Smart as our D Coordinator is a done deal. Any truth to this?

  10. John S says:

    @gatornationspresident…I believe his name was not mentioned intentionally to avoid trollers (no tags), but the latter part of the post was meant to address fairly widespread accusations made against UF that it sought to show up Mr. Newton. Unfortunately those comments are negative, as is the press that Mr. Newton has brought to this university since he was originally signed (ie. burglary, larceny and obstruction of justice charges and 3 instances of academic cheating). He has brought nothing to our school but bad press and negative attention. The press has not spoken up in our defense so I feel compelled to comment.

    If your intention is to focus on the positive please do not read my “Rant” posts or use the words pathetic, slander or cry in your comments to avoid confusion.

    On the positive topic, I am excited about what Muschamp brings to the table especially if Smart is on board. Go Gators

  11. SaraGator says:

    If Muschamp brings us a National Championship, then Foley is truly the best AD in the country.

    If Muschamp fails, then I trust Foley to ship his ass out and hire a real coach.

    I love that Foley doesn’t allow people to dictate his actions and is always looking for that next “up and coming” coach. He in my mind is the mastermind behind the Gators success.

    • What if Muschamp brings you multiple SEC championships but no national title in the first four or five years? Is that a failure? The goal is always to win the SEC first and then go from there. People can be successful without winning a national title right away.

  12. Scooterp says:

    SaraGator – Spurrier didn’t win a National Title in 5 years. Should we have shipped his ass out too? I think alot of you don’t remember the probation period in the mid 80’s or the 26-21, 44-0, 10-9 trifecta of beatdowns to the leghumpers up north. Or the resurgence of Miami and FSU from 1986 – 1994. Believe me, a five year run of 8-4, 10-2, 11-1, 11-1, 9-3, with a couple of SEC championships and top 5 rankings wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  13. SaraGator says:

    More than likely if you win multiple SEC championships, then you will win at least one national title. Heck, even the sweatervest won one out of three.

    In my eyes, winning the SEC is deemed successful. I guarantee you most of the fanbase won’t.

  14. GG says:

    Luck plays a big part in winning NC’s. Injuries, what other teams are doing, who gets to play etc. This year might have been payback for so much good fortune. Hate to say it but Urb leaving might pay off big. It was a great run, just too short.

  15. Scooterp says:

    Sara – with the way our fans are, if Muschamp makes it to week 4 without someone creating a web-site, that would be successful.

    I just hope he doesn’t have an accountability problem, like we’ve seen from this current staff. Iam forever greatful for what Urban Meyer has done for Gator Nation, but his downfall was that he was too close to his players and members of the coaching staff. I don’t think he had the heart or the stomach to pull Adazzio, Brantley, D Thompson etc. off to the side and say – “I’m sorry, I know youve worked your butt off for this team for the last X number of seasons, but we are not getting the results we have come to expect. I’m truly sorry, but I must go in another direction….”. The thought of having that kind of conversation was killing him inside and I’m certain that that more than any other reason, is why he left.

  16. i just wish he could speak with half way decent grammar……he and jimbo both speak like “GEORGIA BOYS”……..but i suppose if he wins it won’t matter……i am not as optimistic as most about this hire. would have rather had stoops…….i will withold my judgement until at least after he hires his OC……

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