Will Muschamp is one of those guys who meets everything head-on, and that’s whether he’s coaching football or doing anything else.
So when the end to his Florida head-coaching career was announced Sunday afternoon, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that Muschamp was as stand-up as they come.
Very simply, it’s a bottom-line business, and his bottom line wasn’t good enough.
Those were his words, not mine.
It’s also a business that rewards good football coaches, and it’s telling that there was as much buzz after the news of Muschamp’s departure as to where he might land next as there was about who would be his replacement at Florida.
Defense has suddenly become a lost art in college football, and Muschamp will be one of the hottest free agents out there this offseason when head coaches set out to retool their defenses.
If Muschamp wants to stay in the SEC, he’ll almost certainly have that chance. More than a few schools in this conference have had trouble stopping anybody on defense this season, and Muschamp’s defensive acumen speaks for itself.
As a head coach, he just wasn’t a fit this time around at Florida. He was never able to get it right offensively, he had one too many recruiting misses and he made a few hires on his staff that came back to get him.
But as a football coach -- and a man -- Muschamp is the kind of guy anybody would want on his staff.
I asked one veteran SEC coach on Sunday what Muschamp’s reputation was with his peers.
“He’s not a good football coach. He’s a great football coach,” the coach said. “He’s a coach’s coach and does it the right way. You’re not going to find many people in this profession who will tell you any differently about Will.”
Muschamp is walking away with more than $6 million in a buyout from Florida, so he can take all the time he wants to settle on what is best for him going forward.
Remember, this was Muschamp’s first head-coaching gig. Some guys who have been head coaches for a while struggle with going back and working for somebody else. But before 2011, Muschamp had always worked for somebody else, and he’s the kind of down-to-earth guy who won't let his ego get in the way of doing what he loves to do -- coaching football.
My sense is he’ll be back next season in college football and make a difference somewhere, maybe even helping a team make a run at a championship.
Muschamp is not the first good football coach to be fired, and he won’t be the last.
This also won’t be the last you see of him.