Florida has dismissed head coach Will Muschamp nine games through his fourth season, finally making the move to cut ties after the Gators' loss to South Carolina Saturday, the school announced, confirming a report by Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples. Florida Today's David Jones later reported Muschamp resigned and was not fired.
Muschamp will coach the team's final regular season games, against Eastern Kentucky and at Florida State.
In his time with the school, Muschamp compiled a 27-20 record with a 17-15 mark in conference play. After a 6-6 debut season was culminated with a Gator Bowl win, Florida went 11-1 in his second season, setting expectations high for the future of the Muschamp era. Those came crashing down in 2013, when the Gators went 4-8, including losses to Vanderbilt and FCS Georgia Southern.
Florida is 5-4 this season, and despite having a winning record has struggled mightily. Their loss to Missouri was probably the low point, as the Tigers held a 42-0 lead while averaging less than 2.5 yards per play. At one point, fans were loudly chanting for Muschamp's dismissal. The last straw came Saturday with a 23-20 loss to South Carolina.
Muschamp was hired in 2011 to replace Urban Meyer, who won two national championships in his six years with the school. Before his time with the Gators, Muschamp was the defensive coordinator at Texas.
Update: From the official statement:
"Upon evaluation of our football program, we are not where the program needs to be and should be. I've always said that our goal at the University of Florida is to compete for championships on a regular basis," [athletic director Jeremy] Foley said. "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 leadership. His players were involved in campus activities, engaged with the local community and represented the University of Florida with pride.
"I will be forever 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. Will 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."
"I appreciate the opportunity that has been offered to me and my family by Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and the University of Florida," said Muschamp. "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 didn't 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 how you respond."