The University of Florida has dismissed head football coach Will Muschamp. He will coach the last two games of the 2014 NCAA season before giving up his post, per multiple reports.
Will Muschamp is out as Florida Gators head football coach.
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According to a Nov. 16 report filed by Rivals.com's Landon Watnick, Muschamp will coach the last two games of the 2014 NCAA season before giving up his post as Gators head coach:
"Will Muschamp has been dismissed as Florida's head coach after four seasons at the helm, according to multiple reports. The decision comes on the heels of Florida's stunning 23-20 overtime loss to South Carolina on Saturday, one that saw the Gators cough up a 17-10 lead in the final minute of regulation and fall out of the SEC East race.
"Muschamp will be allowed to coach Florida's final two games before stepping down, similarly to how Ron Zook coached the Gators' final four games of the regular season after his firing in 2004. Muschamp will receive $2 million for each of the three seasons left on his contract, as well as an additional $1 million, making his overall buyout about $7 million. UF's press release Sunday said that Muschamp 'would step down at the conclusion' of the 2014 season.
"'Upon evaluation of our football program, we are not where the program needs to be and should be,' Gators athletics director Jeremy Foley said in the school release. 'I've always said that our goal at the University of Florida is to compete for championships on a regular basis. Coach Muschamp was dedicated to developing young men both on and off the field. Our student athletes showed tremendous growth socially and academically under his leaderhip. His players were involved in campus activities, engaged with the local community and represented the University of Florida with pride.
"'I will forever be grateful to Will and his staff for their unwavering commitment to the University of Florida and the mission of our athletic program. He will be missed by everyone in our athletic department -- from the people that worked in his office to the people that painted the fields. We knew everyone and they knew him and everyone in the building loved working with him. Will is as fine a man as you will ever meet, and I will always cherish our relationship with him and his family.'
"Florida's 4-8 season in 2013 saw the Gators fall to the likes of Vanderbilt (Commodores) and then-FCS Georgia Southern (Eagles), among other embarrassing losses. At times this year it's been just as bad, if not worse, for a group that has struggled with execution and a conservative approach offensively.
"'I appreciate the opportunity that has been offered to me and my family by Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and the University of Florida,' Muschamp said in the release. 'I was given every opportunity to get it done here and I simply didn't win enough games -- that is the bottom line. I'm disappointed that I did not get it done and it is my responsibility to get it done. I have no bitter feelings, but this is a business and I wish we would have produced better results on the field. We have a great group of players and a staff that is committed to this university and this football program. They have handled themselves with class and I expect them to continue to do so. As I've said many times, life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of how you respond.'"
ESPN's Edward Aschoff argues Muschamp's failure to improve the Gators' offense was what ultimately led to his downfall:
"All that really needs to be said is that Muschamp lost two games when his defense allowed less than 120 yards of offense.
"Whether Muschamp ever really got out of his own way when it came to offensive play calling or not, the truth is that there was never continuity. Having three offensive coordinators in four years didn't help, but there was no creativity or adequate development on that side of the ball.
"While Muschamp signed hefty defensive classes during his Florida tenure, he missed on a lot of offensive guys and never brought in the type of game-changers the Gators should be consistently reeling in with the school nestled in the middle of a recruiting hotbed.
"For Florida not to sign more than one elite wide receiver or have any consistency at quarterback in four years is inexcusable.
"But here Florida is. Muschamp is stepping down at the end of the season, and a program that won two national championships under Urban Meyer and was a consistent SEC title threat under Steve Spurrier in the 1990s is spiraling.
"...In Florida's four losses this season, the Gators have averaged just 266.8 yards and 20.2 points per game. Conservative play calling with a talent pool lacking substance has continually kept the Gators from advancing.
"Even in Muschamp's most successful season -- Year 2 in 2012 that featured 11 wins and an Allstate Sugar Bowl appearance -- the Gators won with great defense and a power running game. Yet they still ranked 103rd nationally in total offense and scored only 26.5 points per game."
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