University of Florida fans react to coach's departure

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Florida fans continue to react to news of Will Muschamp's departure, especially those in Gainesville who suffered through the team's recent string of losses.

"I don't think he should have been fired. I think he was doing a find job," said UF student Benjamin Johnson. "I personally think it was the players' fault. I think everyone gave him too much a hard time."

The Gators lost Saturday to South Carolina 23-20 in overtime. Some say they thought changes would be on the way for the football team. Saturday's game was Florida's sixth defeat in its last eight home games.

"I think it was expected after the loss. You can't blame that loss all of him. But that's football especially at this level and the expatiation for our football team," said student Bryan Blaise.

Some fans say they are really looking forward to what is next for the team.

"I believe they did what they felt was best. What Muschamp said: Winning is what they paid him to do. It's a business. He did what he did," said David Aritus, another student.

"I thought it was time for change. He is not a bad coach but it's time for change," said University of Florida student Austin Herzer.

Muschamp will coach the last two games of the regular season.

Justin Sandler, a freshman at UF said like many students, being a Gator is part of his family legacy. Plus, memories of a team fronted by Tim Tebow are still fresh in his mind, along with many other fans.

"I'm used to the Tebow years of us winning. I think everyone here is used to winning," said Sandler. "And when there's failure, we're ready to switch."

That switch was announced Sunday morning. With three years still left on his contract, head coach Will Muschamp will not be returning next season.

Students and fans News4Jax spoke to said it was about time, and that he just didn't provide the leadership they were looking for.

"He was a defensive coach. He was always a defensive coordinator and I think he's a little too conservative for the University of Florida," said Sandler.

Robert Carsello, another UF student, shares Sandler's opinion.

"We need to hire an offensive-minded coach for sure. Because defensive coaches, I feel like they're a dime a dozen," said Sandler. "A great offensive mind is hard to come by, so I feel like it's really important to secure one now."

Once UF secures a new head coach, fans said they're looking forward to a new generation of wins.

"My brother went (to UF). He got to see Tebow. He got to see them win," said Carsello. "I was hoping that I would get to follow in his footsteps and see the Gators be that dominant powerhouse that they used to be."

With three years still left on his contract, fans agree now is the right time to go. The students said although it's too early to speculate just who the perfect candidate would be, what they want to see is better leadership from a head coach and a better game plan.

"The feedback from the fans, the players, just the whole strategies they've been using from Muschamp is just downhill," said Sammie Thompson, a Gator fan.

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