Muschamp Looks, Sounds the Part

After spending almost an hour listening to the new Gator football coach last night, it's clear Will Muschamp looks and sounds like a head coach. Two down and one to go. Now he has to prove that he IS a head coach. There's little if any reason to doubt that.

Florida's new 39-year-old field boss struck all the right chords in his opening news conference offering up a little something for every Gator out there. If you're an older supporter there was his reference to the man who led the Gators through the '60s.

"You look at Ray Graves back in the '60s who was on the cutting edge offensively in throwing the football."

If the '70s are more your style, he offered up this amusing bit tying his love of the Gators in with his family.

"….a lot of the picture days with the Gators there and my mom always wanted to get her picture taken with Cris Collinsworth the whole time. As a young guy I never understand that, but I understand now."

Muschamp also spoke of being at Florida Field when the Gators beat USC and coach Charley Pell led the team on a victory lap. He referenced James Jones' controversial catch against Miami that same year (1982) and mentioned that he played the part of Tony Lilly in three-man games with his brothers. He mentioned Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow as well.

One of the most interesting things about the news conference was Muschamp's insistence that he wants Urban Meyer around the team as much as possible. Certainly Meyer's expertise could be extremely valuable, especially for a first time head coach, but the specter of him hanging around all the time could be a bit intimidating. That tells me that Muschamp's confidence runs deep. Only an extremely confident, secure guy would be willing to have his highly popular predecessor hanging around.

I'm still not convinced it's a good idea, but I'm impressed by the fact that Muschamp has no difficulty with it.

Muschamp also addressed concerns that many have about him not having been a head coach before and pointed out correctly that many coaches have done extremely well in their first head coaching opportunity and many experienced coaches have failed at their next school. He didn't name anyone in particular in either of those categories, so allow me to.

Bob Stoops.

Muschamp's background is so similar to that of Stoops it's eerie. He gets his first head coaching job at age 39, just like Stoops. He gets it going from one of the elite programs in the country where he was defensive coordinator to another, just like Stoops. He mentored under multiple coaching legends (Tommy Tuberville, Nick Saban and Mack Brown) just like Stoops (Hayden Fry, Bill Snyder and Steve Spurrier).

Shoot to take it even further, his wife's name is Carol, just like Stoops. And they have two sons, just like Stoops. (Bob and Carol Stoops also have a daughter but I'm on a roll here).

I asked Gator athletic director Jeremy Foley if he sees a lot of Stoops in Muschamp.

"He's a guy that's a leader. I think any time you're put in a position of head football coach or CEO you need to be a leader. I think people will follow him and that's what it's all about. He has the ability to make big decisions and I don't think he'll be afraid. You can't be afraid to be to be a good leader. Stoopsie is never afraid. You know Stoopsie as well as I do, and Will Muschamp isn't afraid either."

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