It’s not going to be a happy ending for Will Muschamp at Florida, regardless of the results in his remaining games at head coach. He’s already thinking about the future and coaching next season. The only capacity that it will happen in will be if he’s willing to go back to being a defensive coordinator.
This is the cycle of head coaches in College Football and also the NFL: Rising from the roll of some minor assistant to a position or line coach, from there to being a coordinator and then taking on the role of a head coach. Do well enough or not badly enough? You’ll get more offers to be the number one staffer. Fail miserably? The next job you’re going to get, if you want to stay employed with a top school, is only that of a coordinator.
There’s nothing wrong with being a very good coordinator for life. Some people were destined to only dominate coaching on one side of the field. It might be too soon to seal Muschamp’s fate when he’s only 43 and still has plenty of years on the sidelines ahead of him, but right now there doesn’t seem to be an opening for him in a school as a head coach. Obviously, with pride on his part involved, he’s not going to take a small job for a small school, and no big school with an opening, not that there are too many of those, is going to jump on the opportunity of picking him up after he got fired by Florida.
Muschamp did very well on the defensive side of the ball when working under Nick Saban at LSU, as a DC with Auburn and under Mack Brown in Texas before taking the HC job in Gainesville. Through his first three seasons at Florida, the Gators were among the top 10 defensive teams in the nation. Only in 2012 did it also translate into winning a lot of games, finishing at 11-2, making the Suger Bowl, losing there to Louisville. Many see that game as the beginning of the slide. Or maybe that entire season was a way to mask the truth.
A lot of teams will be changing their coordinators come the end of the season: Auburn, Texas A&M, Florida State, South Carolina. All big schools, from his part of the woods, probably benefiting from having him on as a defensive coordinator. Muschamp has mentioned that once his time with Florida is over (he has two more games) he’s planning on coaching in 2015. No rest or anything like that for him.
The question remain if he’s willing to swallow his pride and go work for head coaches he has faced off against over the last few years as equals. Now he’ll be under them in the chain of command. That’s the way of life for a coach in this sport, but not everyone is willing to make the journey backwards.
If it’s good enough for Daenerys Targaryen, why shouldn’t it be enough for Muschamp?