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Foley, Machen, Players Address Muschamp’s Dismissal At Press Conference

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Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp speaks at a press conference Monday afternoon regarding his dismissal.
Florida Football Head Coach Will Muschamp speaks at a press conference Monday afternoon regarding his dismissal.

After the University of Florida confirmed reports that head coach Will Muschamp will be dismissed from the his position on Sunday, a press conference was held Monday to discuss the future of the Florida football team. Jeremy Foley, the University of Florida’s Athletic Director, said the search for a new coach will begin immediately. Ideally, he’d like to have a new coach by Christmas.

“We need to have a coach who has a track record of success on the offensive side of the ball,” Foley said. “Muschamp epitomizes integrity,” which is what Foley said he will be looking for in Florida’s next head coach.

Although, he will rely heavily on internal staff during the search, Foley and current university president Bernie Machen will make the final decision with some input from incoming president Kent Fuchs.

“From my perspective as president, I have treasured the last four years with Will,” Machen said.

Muschamp said he doesn’t know what will happen following the next two weeks, but he can’t imagine doing anything other than coaching since his impact with players goes beyond Saturday’s game. He stands by his original statement that he simply did not win enough football games.

“You have to have results in life … You have to produce,” Muschamp said. “If you’re a football coach, you need to win.”

In order for Muschamp to have remained Florida’s head coach, Foley said Muschamp needed to have generated positive momentum. But Florida’s 23-20 overtime loss against South Carolina on Saturday was a step in the wrong direction.

After the game, Muschamp said he knew there was a possibility that he would lose his job, but he felt that he’d been treated fairly.

“I don’t leave with any hard feelings or regrets at all,” he said.

Max Garcia, a senior offensive lineman, said he learned about Muschamp’s dismissal while he was at church.

“I got the alert on my ESPN app while I was at church actually,” Garcia said. “It just popped up on my phone, and after church, they told us that we had a 1 p.m. team meeting.”

When Muschamp broke the news to the team Sunday afternoon, redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Chaz Green said it was very tough.

“It was something that we were kind of ready for, just given all the buzz,” Green said. “We knew how important it was to get that SC (South Carolina) win, that’s why it was so heartbreaking the way that it ended.”

Green said the team felt they let the coach down, but they know Muschamp does not want them to carry the blame. Green said the team wants to dedicate the last two football games to Muschamp.

“I don’t think he wants us to feel like we have that pressure placed on us every day and that we’re playing for him,” Green said. “In the back of our minds, we knew the circumstances, and we definitely wanted to get that win.”

About Erica A. Hernandez

Erica is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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