I wrote about the possibility of Bob Stoops to Florida a while back on this blog. http://collegefootballcrazy.com/bob-stoops-to-florida/
Will Muschamp was an incredible Defensive Coordinator at LSU, Auburn and then again at Texas before being named the Head Coach in Waiting at Texas.
After the 2010 disaster of a season at Texas where the perennial powerhouse Longhorns went 5-7, Muschamp spurned the Horns to take the head coaching job at Florida.
Texas fans are probably breathing a collective sigh of relief now as they didn’t get stuck with Will Muschamp after Mack Brown was basically shown the door.
The Florida job was a natural fit for Will Muschamp. He was always an SEC kind of a guy.
Muschamp grew up in Gainesville, Florida, so in a sense he went home when he took the Florida job even though he played college football at Georgia.
The Gators struggled with the mess that the great Urban Meyer left behind during Muschamp’s first season and they went 7-6.
The following season, in 2012, the Gators went 11-2 and all Gator fans must have been thinking that they hit the jackpot with Will Muschamp.
That all came crashing down last season and the Gators finished up 4-8. As I have written before, I am surprised Muschamp survived 4-8 at Florida. Coaches just don’t go 4-8 in Gainesville and survive, but somehow Muschamp did survive.
They actually looked like they could be in for a big season in 2014 for a number of reasons which are all water under the bridge now.
Florida is 5-4 on the season with games coming up against the standard SEC patsy, Eastern Kentucky. Then, they finish with traditional rival Florida State.
Eastern Kentucky is 9-2 on the season so they may not be the cream puff that the conference hoped for but even this Gator team should win this game and become bowl eligible.
They won’t go bowling with Will Muschamp.
Any Division 1 football program that is struggling on defense this season should snatch up Muschamp as soon as possible.
Say what you want about the man but he is an excellent Defensive Coordinator. It’s too bad that he can’t stay on at Florida as the DC.
Rumors are already flying around all over the internet and elsewhere.
Who will replace Will Muschamp?
Of course, one of the top names that is going to surface is the San Francisco 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh. That’s even going to get worse considering a lot of people like Jerry Rice think that Harbaugh is going to be out at San Francisco after this season.
It’s been rumored for a while that Harbaugh and San Francisco General Manager Trent Baalke do not enjoy sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows and singing Kumbaya together.
I can believe that because both men are hard core and Baalke has a reputation of being intimidating. Jim Harbaugh does not get intimidated.
The truth behind all of that talk, I cannot say, but I would think if Jim Harbaugh wanted to go back to college he would want to be at Michigan. Harbaugh grew up around the Michigan program and played Quarterback for the Wolverines before going on to an NFL career.
Harbaugh built the Stanford program back from the ashes and then moved on to the 49ers.
Harbaugh is more than likely not an option, but if I was in charge of the Florida program I would give him a call and make him say no.
I would also give Bob Stoops a call. Stoops may not have any interest in starting over since he is dug in deep in Oklahoma.
Florida offers some opportunities that he does not possess at Norman, Oklahoma. The biggest thing is he would have the Florida recruiting base which is second to none in the entire country. He may be interested in trading tornadoes for hurricanes. No harm in asking for Florida.
Other names that are coming up are Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss, Dan Mullen at Mississippi State, Rich Rodriguez at Arizona, Todd Graham at Arizona State, Gary Patterson at TCU, Gus Malzahn at Auburn, Doc Holliday at Marshall and Mike Shanahan who is currently unemployed.
Those are just a few of the dozens of names being tossed around right now by Gator fans and others.
Hugh Freeze is from Oxford, Mississippi. In other words, he is home. But, does he love his home and would he be interested in taking on the Florida Gator challenge? That’s not likely, but he is a guy that has done wonders at Ole Miss and he deserves a call at least.
Dan Mullen is a former Offensive Coordinator at Florida and coached Tim Tebow. He knows his way around Gainesville and has done a very impressive job for the Bulldogs taking them to a 45-29 record in his 6th season. Mississippi State is a fine school, but it’s not Florida.
I would consider Mullen one of the most likely candidates. One of the most desirable features of hiring Mullen is he is 42 years old and could build a nice long term program. Freeze is 45, so also an attractive option.
Rich Rodriguez is one of the other names being tossed around the most. Michigan fans would laugh at this talk, but Rodriguez has been successful every place he has coached other than Michigan. He started his career at tiny Salem has the head guy, but was only there one season before taking the
head job at Glenville State. He was there for 7 seasons before getting his big break and landing the West Virginia job. For the Mountaineers, Coach Rod went 60-26 including a 32-5 record his last 3 seasons.
The Michigan Wolverines hired Coach Rod to replace Lloyd Carr. The move from Morgantown to Ann Arbor was filled with controversy but that is the job of another blog to tell. Let’s just leave it at fans of the West Virginia Mountaineers still hate Rich Rodriguez.
Rich Rodriguez was a complete flop at Michigan and it was clear from day one that he did not fit there.
After 3 painful seasons at Michigan he was sent packing. His record there was 15-22 and it was even uglier than that. Michigan wanted him out badly.
After spending a year in the studio as a football analyst, Coach Rod got the Arizona job.
Arizona had just fired Mike Stoops when they brought in Rich Rodriguez. After consecutive 8-5 seasons, this season the Wildcats are 8-2 and looking at a shot at winning the Pac-12 South.
To me, Rich Rodriguez is not an SEC type of coach and if he was it would be at a school like Vanderbilt.
Todd Graham is a name that will be tossed about. Many folks don’t like Graham because he is supposedly a job jumper. Graham’s first head job was at Rice where he went 7-6. Graham was hired by Tulsa after his first season at Rice and he jumped at the chance to coach there and won some games for them going 36-17 in 4 seasons.
Pittsburgh hired him at that point and he went 6-6. He was only at Pittsburgh one season before being hired by Arizona State. Graham is 75-40 overall, but is 26-11 at Arizona State.
Graham is a defensive minded coach, but is not threatened by a great offense and that shows on the field for the Sun Devils.
Graham could be a job jumper, but how is that different than Hugh Freeze who was at Arkansas State for only one season before taking the Ole Miss job. The same is true of Gus Malzahn. I have never heard either of these guys being called a job jumper.
Graham was just trying to move up through the ranks and is a good football coach.
Graham would be a good hire for just about anyone and at 49 years old he still has a few good years left in him.
Gary Patterson at TCU is also going to be mentioned a bit. Patterson comes from a defensive background and should do well if he got the opportunity at an SEC school like Florida. He’s a bit older at 54 and has long been thought of as the next coach at Kansas State since he is a grad.
Patterson has a 129-45 record in Fort Worth and should be a good coach for just about anybody, but I don’t see him at Florida.
Gus Malzahn would be an excellent coach for Florida. But, he has a good job at Auburn and probably would like to remain at Auburn.
However, you just never know unless you ask.
Doc Holliday is a little known coach at Marshall. He is in his 5th season at Marshall and is currently undefeated. Overall, the Thundering Herd has a 37-24 record under Holliday.
He also has Florida ties and coached under Urban Meyer from 2005 until 2007. On the negative side about Holliday, he is 57 years old.
Without a doubt, he has the coolest name of any possible candidates.
Another name that has been slung all about is former Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan. His NFL experience is attractive, but he is 62 years old and I doubt would be considered.
Steve Spurrier’s name may be tossed about, but he will be 70 soon and I seriously doubt he will be considered.
There will be a ton of assistant coaching names thrown around but Will Muschamp was an assistant coach and he failed so I don’t see another guy being hired without some head coaching experience.
Should be an interesting month for the Florida Gators as they search for a new coach.