When I heard the news that Will Muschamp would be the new head coach of the University of Florida, I was shocked. Not because Florida had hired a Georgia grad who was the coach in waiting at Texas, but because Jeremy Foley hired a coach with no previous head coaching experience to lead one of the most successful programs in the country.
Florida has been a national power in college football over the last 20 years. That began with the hiring of Steve Spurrier, who was a Florida graduate. However, Spurrier was experienced having coached in the USFL before helping lead Duke University to a share of the ACC Championship in 1989. After Spurrier's run, the Gators promoted assistant Ron Zook, who had no previous head coaching experience. The Gators struggled over the next 3 seasons and Zook was fired. This time, the Gators went back to their old formula, finding a young but experienced coach to come in. Urban Meyer had been coach at Bowling Green and later Utah, who he lead to a BCS bowl victory over Pittsburgh. Meyer would win two national championships over the next six seasons.
But the hiring of Muschamp goes against the method that has brought the Gators success. Does that mean that Muschamp will be a bust like Zook? Certainly not. But before Dawg fans freak out about Florida hiring the man who many considered to be a future Georgia coach, let's see how he performs.
As a Georgia fan, it always hurts to see one of your own join the enemy. But the anger that some have expressed towards Muschamp in recent days is ridiculous. The head coaching position at a major university is the pinnacle for any collegiate coach. Will Muschamp has been given the opportunity to take over a program that is less than two years away from its last national title. Anyone who says they would turn down this offer (and the $2.7 million starting salary) because they root for another school is an idiot.
I certainly do not want to see Muschamp continue the success of Urban Meyer and it will be painful to watch him wear the blue and orange. But does it mean I want to disown him as a member of the Bulldog Nation? No. He has been given an amazing opportunity and I wish him the best, just as long as that means a loss to the Dawgs in Jacksonville each fall. Will Muschamp is the new coach of the Florida Gators, not the Georgia Bulldogs, and I am perfectly happy with that.