Florida’s Coaching Hot Board

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Nov 15, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp walks off the field after they lost to the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Florida Gators 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement USA TODAY Sports

Will Muschamp is a good guy whose offensive failures eventually cost him the Florida Gator coaching job. Muschamp will be the most sought after defensive coordinator in the country and already fans at Auburn, South Carolina, and Texas A&M are clamoring for him to be hired. But now that the Florida job is officially open, who do the Gators hire. 

Let’s begin with a couple of preconditions: 1. the Gators are hiring an offensive coach. Muschamp’s defensive first strategy was a poor cultural fit for the Florida fan base. He never really fit. 2. they’re hiring a proven head coach. 

Keep in mind that the SEC East is wide open right now. Steve Spurrier is close to retirement, Mark Richt is guaranteed to lose at least one game a year he shouldn’t, Gary Pinkel is doing well, but he’s not starting a dynasty at Mizzou, Butch Jones is early in his tenure, Vandy is awful, Kentucky is still Kentucky, tell me why the right coach couldn’t arrive at Florida and have immediate success. This is a really attractive job no matter the situation, but it’s made even more attractive given the present circumstances. 

So what does Outkick’s big board look like?

Here we go in the order that I’d approach the hire if I were Jeremey Foley:

1. Chip Kelly

Why not at least kick the tires on the Philadelphia Eagles coach? His NCAA penalty is up and maybe Kelly prefers coaching college football. Worst case scenario the top coach in college football tells you no and you move along. I don’t understand why everyone is so afraid of hitting on the super model. Sure, she probably says no, but what if she says yes? Can you imagine how Kelly would dominate at Florida?

Good lord. 

2. Art Briles

He’s turned Baylor into a near dynasty. And Baylor’s like the eighth best head coaching job in Texas. Give Briles control of the best program in the state of Florida and his offense would be unstoppable. 

3. Bob Stoops

He’s headed for a 9-3 season at Oklahoma and Sooner fans are tired of his consistent excellence. Could it be time for Steve Spurrier’s former defensive coordinator to head for a new job? Stoops is 167-42 and that’s not good enough for Oklahoma fans. Gator fans would kill for that level of success. I know he’s a former defensive coordinator, but he’s embraced a wide-open offense during his entire tenure at Oklahoma. It could be time.   

4. Bobby Petrino

If Bobby Petrino coached in Florida for the next ten years, I think he’d win multiple national championships. Sure, he’s got off the field issues and an expensive buyout at Louisville, but who cares? He wins everywhere he goes and he’s never had a job even close to as good as Florida Gator head coach. He’d fill up the Swamp with deliriously happy Gator chomping jort-wearers.  

5. Dan Mullen

Mullen will win at least ten games in Starkville this year, may well make the inaugural playoff, and he was the architect of a great Gator offense under Urban Meyer. But how is Mullden’s relationship with Jeremy Foley? We’ll find out the answer to that question if Mullen isn’t a prime target. 

6. Hugh Freeze

He’s recruited extremely well, plays a wide open offensive style, and may believe that he’s taken Ole Miss as high as he possibly can while competing against top coaches and programs in the SEC West at Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and Texas A&M. Freeze would win a hurry at Florida and who scares you right now in the SEC East? 

7. Mike Gundy

He flirted with Tennesssee a couple of years ago and now he’s headed for his first losing season at Oklahoma State. Could Gundy want out of Stillwater? The answer may well be yes. But will the Gators want Gundy? He’d be a solid hire. They could do much worse. He scores points, is a fiery motivator, and even has the visor ready to prowl back on the sidelines at the Swamp. 

8 Rich Rodriguez

Rich Rod is the first name on this list that I think would take the job. But he’s also the first name on this list with a big-time coaching failure on his resume. Sure, he’s won at West Virginia and Arizona, but Michigan, the program most similar to Florida, was a dumpster fire. What happened there? This hire is monumentally important for the Florida Gator program. The last time Jeremy Foley screwed up a hire — Ron Zook — he replaced him with a guy who won multiple national championships. Would Rich Rod 100% win SEC titles? I’m not sure. The next Florida football coach has to 100% win SEC titles. 

9. Lane Kiffin

He lobbied for the Florida Gator job when he was still the head coach at Tennessee. Wouldn’t it be the most Lane Kiffin possible result for him to get fired by USC and then one year later get an even better job? Of course it would.

No matter who gets the job there’s one thing we can all be sure of — a whole bunch of coaches are about to get big raises. 

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.