So the first bit of Will Muschamp's "car wash" tour of ESPN in Bristol is done, and we already have our sound bite for the day. This is what Muschamp said to Josh Elliott after being asked about filling Urban Meyer's shoes:
I don't want to be a CEO head coach.
That quote's already been seized upon by some of college football's chattering class — me included — but what does it mean? Is it revelation about Muschamp's style and/or commentary on his predecessor at Florida or his mentor at Texas, Mack Brown?
I'd say it's both. It can be construed as a slap at Meyer, who went from micro-micromanager to quasi-CEO coachin 2010 after his health scare, or at Brown, who has embodied the CEO coach model at Texas. There's not a ton wrong with wanting to be like Meyer or Brown, because three national championships between them dampens some of the criticism that could be leveled, but there's certainly a contrast between the 2010 Meyer/Brown approach and one that Muschamp's other major mentor, Nick Saban, relies on.
I suspect Muschamp's more like Saban or old Meyer than new Meyer or Brown, and that this quote was mostly about noting that he's wired differently, and hungry for the unglamorous work of coaching a football program. Later in the interview, he explained how he doesn't like how things like ESPN interviews take him away from the field, and gave a mission statement that makes "I don't want to be a CEO coach" sound mostly like an explanation of self:
"I'ma be Will Muschamp. That's all I know how to be."
It remains to be seen if Will Muschamp can be a winning head coach. But I'm satisfied with how he's handling the other duties so far.