It’s finally over.
New Florida head coach Jim McElwain put an end to the ongoing verbal feud with former Gators ringleader Will Muschamp—now the defensive coordinator for Auburn—by killing him with kindness.
“I just know what a great coach he is,” McElwain said at SEC meetings in Destin, Fla. on Tuesday. “I’ve known him a little bit through people. We’ve had conversations. He was very helpful in this job. I’ve got nothing but great respect for him.”
If you’re late to this party, this war on words initiated when Muschamp told media that the next coach that was hired in his place had better not complain about a bare cupboard when it came to the inherited roster. Once hired, McElwain was very quick to point out the discrepancy and lack of depth at offensive line and linebacker—and then Muschamp fired back by reiterating that McElwain “could win with a dog.”
McElwain seems ready to move on. For now, at least.
“You won’t hear me saying anything about that stuff. I just know the sheer numbers that are there,” McElwain said. “The fact is we had six offensive linemen. That’s not his fault. I never said it was. Sometimes, it’s the hand you’re dealt. If you’ve ever been in a poker room, sometimes, you get a hand every now and then you ain’t going to win, and you have to make the best out of it. That’s what we’re doing right now.
“He did an outstanding job of creating a culture. He did a really good job of discipline,” he added. “In this career we’re in, sometimes things just go one way or the other. I’ve got nothing great respect for him.”
That’s quite the jump from taking a jab at Muschamp in March, when McElwain said that Florida’s roster was “insufficient at some of the areas” and how it “hurts the whole team.”
Regardless, I would imagine that this back-and-forth dumpster fire has come to an end … unless Muschamp has something else to say to light another match.