Plenty of reasons have been offered in the wake of Will Muschamp's surprising departure for the Florida head coaching job: the chance to take over a program as ready-built as the Gators', his hometown ties to Gainesville, the chance to build his own handpicked staff from scratch rather than inherit Mack Brown's choices, and maybe most prominently, fatigue from waiting for Brown to hand over the Texas head coaching chair Muschamp had been promised.
That last reason may have picked up a little extra steam this morning, as columnist Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman claims that Muschamp had already been promised a date to take over the Longhorns ... and that Brown had blown the deadline off :
At least one source told me Brown had decided in the offseason to step down at the end of the 2010 season, but he changed his mind after his first losing season at Texas, worried that his legacy had been tarnished.If that's the case, Brown (somewhat ironically) may very well wind up tarnishing his legacy even further. If Muschamp goes on to success at Florida and Brown fails to revive the 'Horns under his overhauled staff , Brown won't just be the coach who went 5-7; he'll be the coach who drove away the coach that would have gotten the 'Horns back from 5-7.
Muschamp was annoyed by the decision, sources close to the football program have said, and chose to leave what he thought was promised him: arguably the best coaching position in the country because of Texas' enormous resources, facilities and budget and the recruiting edge that is the Lone Star State.
Even that shouldn't be enough to dent Brown's remarkable tenure in Austin, given his laundry list of accomplishments and national championship ring. But there's also no question that it will if that's how things play out. As Bohls points out, the coach-in-waiting scheme embarked on by Brown, Muschamp, and Texas comes with a number of inherent risks. But it's not really the scheme that's been the risk for Brown -- it'll be agreeing to it without a firm date for the baton exchange ... and, if Bohls is right, not living up to a date that Muschamp must have expected was firm enough.