Initial thoughts on Will Muschamp
Here’s my theory on college football head coaching for major programs: Never hire a coach without previous head coaching experience. All National Championship winners since 2002 had a head coaching gig before their current one. Nick Saban – check. Urban Meyer – check. Les Miles – check. Mack Brown – check. Pete Carroll – check. Jim Tressell – check.
Will Muschamp violates this rule.
Sure, you could get lucky, hiring an up-and-comer that brings your program back up to normal heights. But why take the risk. you can have your pick of the best tier-2 coaches in the country. Why not take a proven winner?
In college basketball, you’d never see this happen. Any major program looks among successful mid-major programs for their next head coach. I cannot think of a major program that recently hired a non-head coach in basketball.
In football, Florida learned this the hard way. In 2002 the school hired Ron Zook as head coach. Zook was defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Florida under Steve Spurrier and then DC with the Saints. Zook had no head coaching experience, and the next 3 years were painful. Zook was eventually fired, and Florida vowed never to make the same mistake again. They poached Urban Meyer from Utah, where he had tremendous success. Florida flourished.
Now it seems that Florida did not learn their lesson. Will Muschamp is highly regarded and could turn out like a Bob Stoops, who had no head coaching experience before landing at Oklahoma. But the upside is not worth the risk. Florida could have similar (or better) results with a proven coach. He could also end up like Larry Coker.
We’ll see what happens. The domain FireWillMuschamp.com is already registered.
photo by: aaronisnotcool