Muschamp's Staff Will Make His Job Easier

The challenge for any first-year head coach is to get the team to buy into his plan. For Will Muschamp, it's not necessarily that easy. He's also dealing with the hurdles of a first-time head coach. He has to find the balance of time spent with every player on the team, not just the defense as it was in his time as a defensive coordinator.

There isn't an exact way to do it, but Muschamp seems to have figured it out.

No matter where he has been, Will Muschamp's reputation has been the same. The players on his team all see him as a player's coach. Even at his introductory press conference last December, Florida players referred to him as that just hours after meeting him.

That hasn't changed since he got to Florida. It's his passion in all facets of coaching that has the players on his side.

"He's very intense," Florida quarterback John Brantley said. "You've seen him on highlights at Texas, chest bumping his players. He's a great coach, a great defensive coach. He's got great intensity, and he's brought that to the team. We need that giddy up."

Muschamp hasn't had much trouble getting the players to follow his lead. That's always the first challenge with a new job.

"He's energetic," Florida wide receiver Deonte Thompson said. "He'll get out on the field, run with us, work out with us sometimes."

With the players following him, the part that will make it easier on Muschamp is the way he went about hiring his staff. While some coaches might try to poke their head into an area of the game they don't have much experience in, Muschamp humbly announced he wanted an offensive coordinator that would be viewed more as a "head coach" of the offense.

Muschamp's pedigree is on the defensive side of the ball. The hiring of Charlie Weis allows it to stay that way. Muschamp will let Weis do what he does best on the offensive side of the ball, while the head coach spends a majority of his time with the defense.

"I hired Charlie to run the offense," Muschamp said. "I've got great confidence in what he's going to do, what we want to be offensively, and what I've identified we want to be offensively to be successful.

"Frank Verducci is going to coach the offensive line a lot better than I am. Charlie (Weis) is going to coach quarterbacks and call players a lot better than I am. I've hired people to do their job and trust in them and have confidence they're going to do an outstanding job at a high level. These guys are all accomplished coaches."

When he can't spend time on the defense, it shouldn't be a problem. Muschamp hired Dan Quinn becuase of their similar defensive philosophies. The two worked together with the Miami Dolphins, making the hire a no-brainer when Muschamp was looking for a coordinator. They have similar ideas about what to do on defense and the type of players they want to recruit to Florida.

"The worst thing you can do in a leadership position is be something you're not," Muschamp said. "I feel like you've got to lend your strengths, and that's going to be on the defensive side of the ball. I got hired at the University of Florida because we've had good defenses where I've been before. I don't want to take away from what we've accomplished before, where we've been and what we've done.

"The enjoyment I get out of coaching is sitting in the defensive staff room preparing our football team—sitting in the defensive back room, sitting in the linebacker meeting room, coaching and teaching a player. That's what I enjoy doing, and that's what I'm going to continue to do."


Fightin Gators Top Stories