December 2, 2015
South Carolina should do better than hire as head coach Will Muschamp.
A critical part of the South Carolina athletics department's efforts to sell Gamecocks fans on the hiring of Will Muschamp is the notion that the former Florida coach has learned a lesson from his days in Gainesville. Namely, that he's going to eschew the pro-style manball that drove he Gators to the bottom of the conference in offensive production in favor of an attack with the trappings of modernity.
Muschamp says he had that epiphany following his third year at Florida. After hiring Kurt Roper away from Duke for what turned out to be Muschamp's final season as Florida's head coach, the UF offense rose from No. 100 to No. 72 in the country, according to S&P+. But by then it was too little, too late.
Muschamp said on SiriusXM College Sports Nation that if he'd hired Roper sooner, things wouldn't have gotten so bad in the first place.
“I feel like, if I’d hired Kurt in my first year at Florida, I’d probably still be there," Muschamp said. "That’s the confidence I have in him and moving forward. I think he’s an outstanding football coach. He’s finishing the year out with the Cleveland Browns. That’s why we haven’t made a formal announcement yet. I’m real excited. He’s a really good football coach.
“Up-tempo, on the ball, he's got some new ideas from working in the NFL this year that I’m excited about as well. That was one of the things I took from my experience at Florida. When we came there, Urban [Meyer] had had great success with a spread offense, doing some of the things they did, and they recruited to that. I really felt like, my first couple years, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, as far as being more traditional and pro-style. We really struggled mightily with that transition.
“Looking at the situation [at South Carolina], Coach Spurrier’s gone to some one-back and 12 personnel, but most 11 personnel, spreading the field. That’s what they have recruited to. Nowadays, as a coach, you’ve gotta win. When you came in and tried to transition to pro-style offense, there were some things that didn’t fit for us. … More than anything, let’s do something your kids can do. Let’s not try to fit a square peg into a round hole, and I felt like I did that at Florida our first couple years."
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