Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A with Florida football coach Will Muschamp


Will Muschamp

TAMPA — One day after burying his 79-year-old father, Florida coach Will Muschamp was back on the booster speaking circuit. Muschamp kept his obligation to speak to members of the Tampa and Pinellas County Gator clubs Monday night following his father's funeral in Georgia on Sunday.

"You just do your job," he said about his quick return. "It's good to get back. It's a tough, tough deal, but you've got to move forward. It's good to get back and get working."

Muschamp received a standing ovation from the crowd and promised fans that the changes under new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper should mean they won't have another 4-8 season. "I think we're talking about a season, not seasons, of frustration," he said.

When a young boy stood to ask, "How much are the Gators going to be improved?" Muschamp replied: "We better be improved a lot. My wife asks me the same thing every day."

Here are a few questions and answers from Muschamp on various topics:

Have the Gator Gatherings become more difficult following a 4-8 season?

Not so far, honestly. It was funny, my first year we went 7-6 and it was as positive as you can imagine going to speak. Then 11-2 (in 2012) and the way we ended the season (a 33-23 loss to Louisville), I had more negativity at the Gator Clubs in those situations. I think most Gator fans understand what we went through this year. They're not accepting it and neither am I. But they've been very good.

How do you change the negative outside perception?

I think you change it by winning. And that means you change it by preparing, having a great summer, having a great spring, making the appropriate changes in your program you feel like you need to make, and I think we've made those. … I think our players are excited about playing football. I think last year we lost some confidence and belief in what we were doing, offensively especially.

How is the health of the team?

Very good. Matt (Jones) and Alex Anzalone met with the orthopedists (Monday) and they'll be ready to go. Matt (knee) is far ahead of where we thought he would be at this time — months ahead of where we thought he would be at this time. Trenton Brown had a scope on his wrist, he's fine. And Jeff (Driskel) had a couple of screws removed Monday (after spring game). We're as healthy as we've been in a long time." (He later added freshman OL Nolan Kelleher may need back surgery).

FINAL WORD: “We've got 90 days until we report on Aug. 3 and I'm really looking forward to getting this thing going. It was unacceptable what we did in the fall, it's my responsibility to get it fixed and that's what's going to happen. … When your best players are good guys, you've got a chance. And right now our best players are good guys."

Antonya English can be reached at

Q&A with Florida football coach Will Muschamp 05/05/14 [Last modified: Monday, May 5, 2014 10:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  2. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  3. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  4. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.