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Florida AD Foley, Carolina Coach Spurrier Back Muschamp

vote_of_confidenceAfter twisting in the wind for a couple of days, Will Muschamp got another vote of confidence from Florida AD Jeremy Foley yesterday.  He also got the endorsement of the Gators’ best-ever coach.

In an interview with a writer from Florida’s official athletic site, Foley backed the coach he hired in December of 2010.  The coach many fans want fired in 2013:


“As athletic director I’m a thousand percent convinced that Will Muschamp is the guy to lead this football program.  Nothing has changed in what we feel about Will Muschamp from the day we hired him.

Everyone around here wants the same thing.  We want to do what is right for the University of Florida.  We understand that this football season has not gone the way any of us wanted it to go, certainly not the way our fans wanted it to go, and most of all, not the way Will Muschamp wanted it to go.

We have a history of being successful, we have a history of fixing things when they need to be fixed, and that is what is going to happen here, and Coach Muschamp is the one that will fix it…

We will get better under Will Muschamp’s leadership.  This is not the quote-unquote dreaded ‘vote of confidence.’  This is just how we all feel around here.  We have a strong faith and a strong belief in his capabilities, in his leadership skills, in his ability to evaluate what needs to be fixed.

Go back to a year ago: We’re 11-1 and beat four teams in the Top 10 and he was SEC Coach of the Year.  I don’t think that was a fluke.  I think coaching had a lot to do with that.  We’ll stay the course here.  We’ll get it right.  We’re not going to leg Gator fans down.  We want the same thing they want.”


For good measure, Florida president Bernie Machen is also quoted in the story as saying: “I want the Gator Nation to know that I have full confidence in Coach Muschamp and his leadership of the football program.

Now that one is literally a “vote of confidence.”

Support from Muschamp isn’t coming from Florida brass alone.  Former Gator coach and current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier — who’ll face his alma mater Saturday in Columbia — had nice things to say about Muschamp yesterday:


“We’ve got a good relationship.  I’ve admired the way he coaches his team and the way he runs the show down there.  I made mention that I think last year he was SEC Coach of the Year.  After they beat FSU, they were third in the country in that BCS and if Notre Dam had lost to Southern Cal, Florida would have been in the national championship game.

Obviously, this year they’ve had a rash of injuries all over the team that’s really hurt them.  They’ve still got plenty of ball players and they’re a very hard-nosed, physical-type of team…

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone have as many (injuries) as they’ve had.”


Some ticked off Gator backers might not like it, but Foley and Machen are wise to stick with a guy who won 11 games last year.  The fact that last year’s accomplishments have already been forgotten — that they mean absolutely nothing — further shows just how much the game has changed and how little patience sports fans have these days.  A thumbs-up to Foley and Machen for backing their man… and to Spurrier for tossing in some support, too.  He’s not one to bite his lip if he sees something he likes or dislikes, so it’s unlikely his remarks are tied solely to the fact his team is playing UF this week.



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Gators Land 2014 Quarterback

Junior quarterback Will Grier from Day High School in Davidson, N.C., has committed to Florida.

Grier chose Florida over North Carolina. Tennessee and North Carolina State had been in heavy pursuit but recent coaching changes ended their contention for Grier.

Grier’s father, Day offensive coordinator Chad Grier, told ESPN RecruitingNation that Florida head coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease were big factors in his son’s decision.

“I spoke with Coach Muschamp and Coach Pease (Tuesday) and I am very proud that Will is going to play for men who care about him as a young man and who believe in him as a player,” Chad Grier said.

Will Grier is Florida’s third commitment for the class of 2013.

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Ailing Punter Praises Muschamp For His Support

Late last month, senior Florida punter David Lerner was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, a serious inflammatory disease of the intestines.  When Will Muschamp called him to check up on him, Lerner says he told his coach, “My insides feel terrible, but my leg still works.”

As it turns out, Lerner never had to worry about his place on the Gator team:

“Two days after I was diagnosed, Coach called me and said, ‘Whatever you need, we’ll get for you.  We want you.’  He was very supportive.

I was definitely depressed with everything that was going on.  That kind of gave me hope.  That was really helpful and nice of him.

I was definitely worried at first.  The doctors and Coach Muschamp and the training staff and all the coaches were very supportive.  They said, ‘We’ll get you through this.  If you can’t practice, that’s fine, we want you here.’  It was very emotionally helpful.”

Muschamp has equally warm comments for Lerner.  “He has never asked to leave the field,” the coach said.  “He certainly is an inspiration to me just watching him and how he’s handled himself.”

Lerner is currently battling true freshman Kyle Christy for first-team punting duties.

Our best wishes go out to the young man.

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Surprise, Surprise! Jenkins To Return For Senior Year At UF

Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins has surprised Gator Nation by announcing his decision to return to Gainesville for his senior season.

“After careful consideration, I’ve made a decision to return to school for my senior year,” he said via press release.  “I spent some time with my family and Coach Muschamp and came to the conclusion it was in my best interest to return to school.  Coach Muschamp was very supportive throughout the whole process, regardless of my decision, but he wanted to make sure I had all the facts.  I’m looking forward to working towards my degree, completing my rehab and getting back on the field with my teammates.”

Jenkins had been projected as a first-round pick in April’s NFL draft.  He has been ranked as high as the third-best cornerback in the draft.  He was also the Gators’ best punt returner in 2010.

Last week,’s Joe Schad wrote that a source had told him that Jenkins would be turning pro.

Jenkins missed the Outback Bowl due to shoulder surgery, thus the comment about completing his rehab.

SEC fans should hope Florida’s corner can remain healthy in 2011.  Anytime a star SEC player passes up sure dollars in the pros in order to stay in college, it’s a bonus for league fans.  Best of luck to Jenkins in the year ahead.

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