UT introduces new defensive coordinator

January 11, 2008 6:53:53 PM PST
Will Muschamp says his wife thinks he's crazy. Anybody who's watched the YouTube clips of the new Texas defensive coordinator and his rather, um, "animated" style can see why. He's cursing, yelling and whooping it up on the sideline with his players in a show of fiery enthusiasm.

"I think the players take on the personality of their coach," Muschamp said Friday as he introduced himself to Texas reporters. "I want the kids to play hard, I want to play relentless and I want to play with toughness."

Muschamp was defensive coordinator at Auburn the last two seasons before he was hired last week at Texas.

He will be Texas coach Mack Brown's fourth defensive coordinator in five years. Since his name first surfaced as a candidate for the job, Texas fans have been watching Internet clips of Muschamp's sideline antics.

"He's high energy, he's tough," Brown said. "This was a natural hire."

Muschamp was defensive coordinator for six seasons at Auburn and LSU. During those seasons, his defenses ranked among the nation's top 10 in total defense four times and scoring defense three times. In 2005, he was the Miami Dolphins' assistant head coach for defense.

Already considered one of the top young assistants in the college game, many view Muschamp's move to Texas as stepping stone to becoming a head coach.

Former Texas coordinators Greg Robinson (Syracuse) and Gene Chizik (Iowa State) left Texas for head coaching jobs. Duane Akina, who called defensive plays for Texas last season, will remain on staff as assistant head coach and will coach the secondary. Akina has been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace June Jones at Hawaii.

Brown called Muschamp "one of the really bright young guys who will be a head coach someday when he wants to be .... his long-term goal is to win a national championship here and I would hope that would present an opportunity for him to be a head coach."

Muschamp said he's not eyeing a head coaching job at the moment.

"I took the job to be the defensive coordinator at Texas," he said. "Too many guys in my profession worry about the next job."

The Texas defense faltered last season as the Longhorns finished 10-3 with a victory in the Holiday Bowl. The Longhorns were among the worst in the country in pass defense and struggled to create turnovers.

Brown said he considers the defense a "blank slate" for Muschamp to develop. Texas begins spring practice Feb. 22, and Muschamp suggested he'll spend most of his time until then evaluating talent and drawing up schemes.

"I don't have a lot of hobbies," Muschamp said. "I coach ball. That's about it."

Asked why he would leave Auburn, Muschamp said he respects Brown and Texas' run of seven consecutive 10-win seasons. He also noted his relationships with other Texas assistants.

Longhorns offensive coordinator Greg Davis and offensive line coach Mac McWhorter were on the Georgia staff when Muschamp played for the Bulldogs from 1991-94.

"Everybody's on board. Everybody wants to be successful and they see the vision of winning the Big 12 championship and winning the national championship. That really excited me," he said. "I felt personally it was the best decision for the Muschamp family."

This is the second time Brown has raided Auburn's staff. He hired Chizik away from the Tigers in 2005. Brown said he appreciated that Tigers fans were upset to see Muschamp leave.

"It's a great compliment when people don't want you to leave," Brown said.

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