Florida Football: 12 Facts You May Not Know About Coach Will Muschamp

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Florida Football: 12 Facts You May Not Know About Coach Will Muschamp
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Will Muschamp is about to enter his first Spring at Florida's football coach.

The most lasting image of him is easily remembered: A fired-up assistant coach in a black shirt with his own blood pouring down his left cheek.

But there is much more to new Florida football coach Will Muschamp than that Saturday afternoon in 2008 when, as the defensive coordinator for Texas, he accidentally cut himself with a headset during a game against Florida Atlantic and elected not to wipe his face clean.

No doubt he comes across as intense (which is not an act), but there are other sides to Muschamp the public just hasn't seen.

1. As a child attending the former Martha Manson Academy in Gainesville, Fla., Muschamp was the all-time quarterback during P.E. football games because it wouldn't have been fair otherwise.

2. Muschamp's first high school football coach, John Clifford, is a former Gator defensive back. Clifford held UF's single-season record for interceptions for two decades. He also was one of the first people Muschamp called after being hired by UF.

3. Muschamp's best friend when he was a seventh-grader attending Gainesville's Oak Hall School (grades 7-12) in the mid 1980s was a senior named Doug Giles. Both were starters on the varsity football team that year.

4. Muschamp does not forget a face. In his second press conference after being hired by UF, Muschamp recognized a sports writer he grew up with but had only seen once in the last 25 years. The coach walked over to the writer, shook his hand and asked him (by name) how he was doing.

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Chris Doering is among the former Gators who grew up with Muschamp

5. Florida's new wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator, Aubrey Hill, played against Muschamp when Hill was a Gator wideout and Muschamp was a Georgia safety. Hill said he does not recall himself or Muschamp delivering a big hit or block on the other.

6. Muschamp is one of the rare former Georgia Bulldogs to have played a game on Florida Field. With the stadium in Jacksonville being renovated to accommodate the Jacksonville Jaguars, Muschamp started at safety when the Bulldogs visited Gainesville in 1994.

7. Former Gators/NFL players Chris Doering, Willie Jackson and Terry Jackson were among those who played Boys Club football with and against Muschamp as kids in Gainesville.

8. Muschamp's eighth grade class at Oak Hall had less than 35 students but included many future Division I scholarship athletes. In addition to Muschamp (who earned a scholarship after walking on at Georgia), Brian Duva played in the outfield at UF, Chris Dryfuss swam at Texas and Charles Braswell pitched for Furman. Oddly, all but Braswell would be gone from OHS the next year, though Duva did transfer back from Gainesville High School as a senior.

9. The steel rod that was placed in his leg after he broke it playing high school baseball in Rome, Ga. is an item Muschamp keeps as a reminder things don't always go well.

10. Will's older brothers Pat and Mike also played Division I football. Pat suited up for Army, while Mike was a quarterback for Duke.

11. Will's father, Larry, was such a popular headmaster at Oak Hall, he was asked to return to deliver a speech at OHS's graduation one full year after he had moved his family to Rome, Ga. to take a similar job at the Darlington School. A few decades later, Will delivered the keynote address at Darlington's "Career Day" in February of 2010.

12. While at Oak Hall, Muschamp loved to play a game called Gatorball, which was a tacklefest hybrid between football and soccer. Even as a seventh-grader, Muschamp loved making the big hit.

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