Before joining the Booger and Rich show on Wednesday afternoon on 98.7 The Fan, Gatorzone.com’s Scott Carter wrote a piece on his own website with quotes from both Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley and president Bernie Machen expressing their support for current Gators coach Will Muschamp.
“As athletic director, I’m a thousand percent convinced that Will Muschamp is the guy to lead this football program,’’ Foley said inside his office at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. “Nothing has changed in what we feel about Will Muschamp from the day we hired him.”
“Everyone around here wants the same thing,’’ Foley continued. “We want to do what is right for the University of Florida. We understand that this football season has not gone the way any of us wanted it to go, certainly not the way our fans wanted it to go, and most of all, not the way Will Muschamp wanted it to go.”
“We have a history of being successful, we have a history of fixing things when they need to be fixed, and that is what is going to happen here, and Coach Muschamp is the one that will fix it.”
Muschamp has four years remaining on his current contract with the Gators that pays him just under $3 million dollars per season.
“I understand the passion and the disappointment,’’ Foley said. “But at the end of the day, we’ve got great fans, they love the Gators and their passion makes this place special. They are hurting, they want the program to be successful and we feel that hurt.”
That passion and disappointment of Gator fans was on display as the Gators were defeated by Vanderbilt on Homecoming this past Saturday. This was the same day where the Gators might have missed out on one of the nation’s top recruits according to Mike Farrell of rivals.com.
Farrell reported that DE De’Shawn Hand, the nation’s top recruit, was on-hand for the Gators loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday. While a loss is never good when a highly rated recruit is in the building, Farrell says, “Florida’s game atmosphere and fans calling for Muschamp’s head eliminated them.” The Gators had been in the running for Hand along with Michigan and Alabama before this past weekend.
School president Bernie Machen echoed the statements of Jeremy Foley regarding the support for Muschamp.
“I want the Gator Nation to know that I have full confidence in Coach Muschamp and his leadership of the football program,’’ Machen said.
Injuries have played a role to the struggling Gators this season. They have lost seven starters due to injury including their quarterback Jeff Driskel, running back Matt Jones, and defensive tackle Dominique Easley, along with numerous offensive linemen including former Tampa Catholic standout Chaz Green.
“We will get better under Will Muschamp’s leadership,’’ Foley said. “This is not the quote-unquote dreaded ‘vote of confidence.’ This is just how we all feel around here. We have a strong faith and a strong belief in his capabilities, in his leadership skills, in his ability to evaluate what needs to be fixed.”
Gator Nation better settle in because if Muschamp does not make significant changes to his coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball, the only team that will be “Gator Bait” in The Swamp will be the Gators themselves.