When Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley hired Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Will Muschamp as the Gators' next head coach, it's safe to say that a few people were surprised.

Muschamp's name was scarcely mentioned amongst those of heavily-rumored candidates like Bob Stoops, Chris Petersen and Dan Mullen.

Additionally, his status as the head coach-in-waiting at Texas seemingly ruled him out of most coaching searches, but Florida apparently made Muschamp an offer he couldn't refuse.

So, who is this Will Muschamp? Here are five things Gators fans should know about their new head coach.

Will Muschamp is an Intense Football Coach

While there are many passionate coaches in college football, few, if any, wear  their heart on their sleeve more than Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp.

Ever since he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Auburn in 1995, Muschamp has had a reputation for firing up his players and bringing a lot of intensity to the sidelines.

And don't expect that to change in Gainesville.

Many may be turned off by Muschamp's wild behavior, but it will be a nice change of pace from Urban Meyer's stoic sideline persona.

Will Muschamp is a Defensive Genius

While he was the defensive coordinator for the Texas Longhorns, Muschamp had the highest salary ($900,000 per year) for an assistant coach in college football and for good reason.

In nine seasons as a defensive coordinator in the FBS, Muschamp has had his defense finish among the 10 best teams in total defense nationally six times.

Arguably his most impressive feat came this season, coaching the Longhorns to the seventh best total defense in the nation (300.17 yards per game) despite an awful 5-7 record in Austin.

If you thought the Florida defense was good under Louisville head coach Charlie Strong, wait until Muschamp gets to work with some of the athletes Meyer recruited to Gainesville.

Will Muschamp Will Continue to be a Hands-On Coach

If you think that Muschamp will delegate defensive playcalling now that he is a head coach, then think again.

As my cousin Daniel said to me today, Muschamp will absolutely be calling his own plays and coaching the defense himself.

He gets into the game way too much to let someone else do the dirty work, so while there will be a defensive coordinator on Florida's staff, Muschamp will have complete control over the Gators' game plan.

This hands-on approach should endear Muschamp to his players and will likely get recruits excited about playing for a coach that invests himself so heavily in every game.

Will Muschamp is a Great Recruiter

With Urban Meyer's sudden resignation last Wednesday, the Florida Gators obviously have to worry about the state of their current recruiting class.

Meyer and Muschamp both have very different styles of coaching and many recruits that signed with Florida expecting the former may be turned off by the latter.

However, one thing that Meyer and Muschamp have in common is a passionate approach to connecting and protecting their players and that's one of key reasons I love Jeremy Foley's hire.

I believe Muschamp can use the very limited time he has before National Signing Day to connect with the Gators' committed recruits and reassure them that while his brand of Florida Football will be different from Meyer's, he will run a successful program in Gainesville as well.

The Gators have signed five consecutive recruiting classes that have ranked among the nation's top five and with a coach like Muschamp taking over, they have a great chance to extend that streak to six and beyond.

Who knows? Muschamp could even snag a few players from the Longhorns' class if Mack Brown isn't careful.

Will Muschamp is Not Urban Meyer

Nobody wants to be the guy who follows "The Guy." Just ask Ron Zook.

And taking over for arguably the greatest college football coach in the "BCS Era" will be a very tough task for Muschamp.

Thanks to the work of past coaches like Steve Spurrier and Meyer, the Gator Nation's expectations will be through the roof for Muschamp and that's why I'm asking for patience.

He is a great, fiery coach and one of the most competitive guys in college football, but let's get real: Muschamp will not win two BCS National Championships in his first four seasons, so expecting him to do that is not constructive.

He's no Meyer, but Muschamp is a very good football coach that has all of the tools in place to have a great successful tenure in Gainesville.


Here's a video of Will Muschamp's intensity in full gear in a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks.