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What they're saying about the Florida Gators hiring Will Muschamp as football coach

When the announcement came that Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley had hired Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, a 39-year-old with no head coaching experience, to replace Urban Meyer, some Gators fans had to head to the Internet to find out who he is.

But one day later, Muschamp's hiring is being greeted with enthusiasm by most and guarded optimism by others.

A glimpse of what's being said now about the new coach:

Argie Radics, Gator booster and Pinellas County Gator Club member:

"When I first heard, it was like 'Who?' Then we were all online and on the message boards and we started doing some research. I think it's an excellent hire in that Will has obviously proven himself at LSU, Auburn and at Texas. He was the coach-in-waiting to Mack Brown, one of the giants in the business, so that tells us he's ready. He's fiery and passionate, and we definitely need that right now."

Gigi Pelosi-Farrell, president of Tampa Gator Club:

"I think it's great. Time will tell of course, but I think it's going to be exciting. A little bit of change might be good for us; from an offensive-minded coach to a defensive-minded one. I think Jeremy Foley was very bold with this. I didn't know of this man. I started researching him, and I'm impressed with what I've seen. I think we need something that isn't the same (established coaches). The way our year has gone, we need something to shake us up. I hope he's as good as he was as an assistant coach, maybe even better."

Kirk Bohls, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman:

"Turned out Will Muschamp wasn't the head coach-in-waiting after all. He's now the head coach-in-absentia. One of the biggest gambles in Mack Brown's storied tenure at Texas backfired Saturday when the fist-pumping, chest-bumping defensive coordinator tired of waiting for his turn at the top and headed to Florida in a shocking move. Texas never should have agreed to the risky setup. It ended badly at Florida State, where Bobby Bowden tried to cling to his job too long and was forced out, and it ended poorly in Austin, where Brown faces upheaval among his coaching staff. … There might not be many greener pastures than Texas, but Florida might be one of them, and it's easy to see Muschamp lusting after what is one of the top-five programs in the country. Muschamp will find one huge problem in that he has to replace a legend in Urban Meyer, but then, he was prepared to do that here."

S. Daniel Ponce, member of Florida's University Athletic Association board of directors:

"I applaud Jeremy on his decision. At first I was surprised by the hire, but the more I thought about it, I thought what great potential. … He's young, dynamic, and we can build from here."

Jack Youngblood, former Gators All-America defensive lineman and NFL Hall of Famer, in a Sporting News interview:

"He's got his hands full, that's for sure. He knows what he's walking into. The expectations are already set. That bar is there. He's going to have to rise to that bar or else it will be a short tenure."

David Nelson, former Florida and current Buffalo Bills WR:

"Anyone with the word 'Champ' in their name has to be a winner, right?"

Bill Connelly, ESPN Football Outsiders:

"As with draft picks and recruiting classes, we pass judgment on new coaching hires from the moment the announcement is made (and often before), and the Internet certainly has collected a variety of opinions to date. (Smart hire! Panic move!) This is unfortunate, as there is almost nothing in the world less certain than hiring a new football coach."

What they're saying about the Florida Gators hiring Will Muschamp as football coach 12/12/10 [Last modified: Sunday, December 12, 2010 9:15pm]
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