AUSTIN, Texas (CBS4/AP) — A person familiar with the decision says Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has accepted an offer to be the head coach at the University of Florida.Muschamp, who just finished his third season at Texas where he was the head-coach-in-waiting to succeed Mack Brown, replaces Urban Meyer at the Swamp.
The person confirming the move spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not yet been made.
Muschamp leaves one of the nation’s premier programs for another. Between them, Texas and Florida have won three national championships since 2005.
But both teams fell on hard times this year. The Gators were 7-5 and Texas fell to 5-7 in Brown’s first losing season with the Longhorns.
Muschamp was one of top-earning assistants in the country with a $900,000 annual salary.
Mushamp’s previous stints as an assistant coach include LSU and Auburn and the Miami Dolphins in the NFL.
Muschamp’s move to the Gators leaves Brown with another hole to fill on his staff. On Monday, Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis resigned and offensive line coach Mac McWhorter and special teams coordinator and defensive line coach Mike Tolleson retired.
Texas hired Muschamp away from Auburn before the 2008 season and Texas went 25-2 in his first two seasons. He had not yet finished his first season with the Longhorns when the school announced it had offered him the coach-in-waiting position even though Brown said he had no plans to retire.
That made some wonder if Muschamp would be willing to wait and the offer from Florida, with it’s pedigree, top-flight facilities proximity to top high school athletes and its history in the Southeastern Conference, was too good to pass up.
Texas and Florida officials did not immediately comment but news was breaking on social media web sites.
Former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow wrote on Twitter: “(Welcome) to the (Gator) family Coach Muschamp! You’ll soon find out why it’s great to be a Florida Gator! God bless and Go Gators.”