This isn’t really Auburn related anymore, but I’m sure some of you don’t mind seeing it. Wow, what a day of major updates for WarBlogle.com.
The University of Texas has struck an agreement with Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp that will keep him in Austin and eventually lead him to the head coaching position for the Longhorns, Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds said on Tuesday. Details of the contract are still being finalized but it will start with Muschamp’s salary being raised to $900,000 on January 1, 2009.
“This is a plan that has been enthusiastically agreed to by Mack Brown, President Powers and the Board of Regents,” Dodds said. “With the landscape in college football and all of the changes around the country, I’ve been looking at this for the last couple of years. When it’s not working, you have to go outside and make changes. Things are going well here, it’s working, so it’s best to be prepared to build from inside and that’s what we’re doing.
“Mack has provided outstanding leadership and continues to elevate our football program to a level as high as anyone in the country. We hope he stays a long time and he will be our coach as long as he wants, but this assures us that when the time comes, we have the right guy to step up into that position and continue to build on the great things we’re accomplishing.”
Muschamp joined the Longhorns this season after highly successful stints at Auburn, LSU and in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins. As defensive coordinator, he helped LSU claim a National Championship in 2004. He was a finalist for the Broyles Award (nation’s top assistant coach) in 2007.
“This is first and foremost about keeping Will at Texas,” Brown said. “He’s had several opportunities to interview for head coaching jobs, but we wanted him to stay here. I’m going to continue coaching as I’m enjoying it. I have eight years left on my contract, I am not thinking at all about moving on, it’s simply that I think Will is a great young coach, a perfect fit for this place and he wants to stay. Nothing will change in our structure. He will continue in his roll as defensive coordinator and when the time comes, will be ready to step in and take over the program.
“Everything we’ve talked about since we’ve been here, the premise of our program, has been about family. This is about family. When at some point I do step away, the fans can be assured the program can continue like it is. It will not miss a beat because the family will continue. Will believes in all the same principles we believe in. This assures recruits, our coaches and our players that Texas football will just keep on rolling.”
Muschamp’s Longhorn defense is leading the Big 12 in rushing defense (82.5 ypg/25th NCAA) and scoring defense (19.5 ppg/25th NCAA). UT ranks second nationally with four sacks per game. The Horns have held all of their Big 12 opponents below their season scoring average and limited six foes to 14 points or less.
“I was really excited when they presented the opportunity to me,” Muschamp said. “I’m not in any hurry to be a head coach and hope Coach Brown’s around for many more years. I’m just glad I’m going to be able to stay at Texas. This is the top program in the country, my family loves it here and there’s no better person to watch and learn from about running a football program than Coach Brown.
“President Powers, DeLoss Dodds, the administration and the leadership at Texas are outstanding. Coach Brown and a great support staff are in place. I’ve really enjoyed the kids in our program and everyone I’ve been around here. Texas has all the resources, facilities and a great recruiting base. It is the elite program in the country. No disrespect to any of the other places I’ve worked, but this is a really special place.”
A native of Rome, Ga., and 1994 graduate of Georgia, he was four-year lettermen at safety for the Bulldogs (1991-94). He was selected as defensive co-captain as a senior and was a part of two bowl teams. He also earned a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 1993.
“When I first came here in January and my wife, Carol, and boys, Jackson and Whit, stayed back in Auburn, I got such a great feel for the community and people. When Carol and the kids moved here in May, they fell in love with Austin. If I would have left, I would have left on my own because she was staying here. She really loves the community and the people, and our kids love their schools. It’s just a special place and somewhere I want to be for a long time.
“I really appreciate the confidence that President Powers, DeLoss Dodds, the Board of Regents and Coach Brown have in me. I hope Coach Brown is here for a long time and look forward to continuing to coach our defense, learning from him and eventually carrying on the outstanding Texas tradition.”