Fisher, Muschamp share unique friendship

What happened to the days when rival coaches hated each other? What happened to the days when Florida coach Steve Spurrier called Florida State University "Free Shoes University" and got under the skin of Bobby Bowden over what he considered late hits delivered by FSU's defensive ends on Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel?

The cold war might be defrosting — not among fans, mind you, but at least the coaches. The FSU and Florida coaches have never been this friendly.

Jimbo Fisher, in his first season as FSU's head coach and Will Muschamp, hired this week to head the Florida program, worked together at Auburn in the mid-1990s and then at LSU from 2001 to '04. Fisher even helped Muschamp land a job on LSU's staff when he introduced Muschamp to Nick Saban in 2000.

Muschamp and Fisher formed a close friendship and they even co-own a beach house in Florida. But because of their schedules, their families have not been able to use the house at the same time.

"We haven't negotiated what's going to happen with that yet," Muschamp said of the beach house.

Maybe the winner of the Seminoles-Gators showdown each November gets first pick of which days they get the house?

Fisher said he's happy about his friend's new job and they talked Saturday night after Muschamp accepted.

"He's a good guy," Fisher said Tuesday afternoon. "He'll do a good job . . . He's going to try to beat me, and I'm going to try to beat him. We'll go at it. He knows me and I know him."

They'll certainly go at it year-round when it comes to recruiting the best high school prospects in the country.

Fisher downplayed the difficulty of two friends competing against each other each November in one of college football's biggest rivalries. He pointed out the two went head-to-head for four seasons, when Fisher was LSU's offensive coordinator and Muschamp the Tigers' defensive coordinator.

"Now I only have to do it once a year," Fisher said. "Used to be we did it every day."


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