New feature looks at how Will Muschamp’s career was defined by injury

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp had his athletic career defined by a broken leg in high school that transformed his fortunes from highly recruited prospect to walk on, and it’s the subject of a fascinating feature by David Caraviello of The Post and Courier.

The feature has some interesting tidbits, from family members, coaches and Muschamp himself on how the broken leg would ultimately lead to him becoming Coach Boom.

On pain tolerance:

“You could take a two-by-four and hit Will with it, and he wouldn’t budge,” said Jerry Sharp, the former head football coach at Darlington School in Rome, Ga. “But when he hollered, I knew he was hurt.”

Will’s brother Mike on rehabbing from the broken leg:

“I’m talking literally learning how to walk again. Baby steps, all the things you’d have to go through with something like that. He was determined to overcome it,” Mike said.

The time an opposing football coach complained:

The official jogged over the sideline, with an odd request to relay to Jerry Sharp. The opposing head coach had complained that one of Darlington’s players, Will Muschamp, was being too aggressive. Sharp looked the official in the eye — and they both started laughing.

Telling Muschamp he can’t do something fuels his drive:

Richard Bell, who was also Muschamp’s position coach (at Georgia), could see it, too. “He never said anything about it to me, but people may have told him, ‘You can’t do this.’ That’s a red flag to wave in front of him … because of the intangibles he possesses. And I’m sure that carries over to his coaching profession.”

On using his experience, and the scar on his leg, as motivation to his players:

“My dad used to always say, 10 percent of life is what happens to you, the other 90 percent is what you do with it,” Will Muschamp said. “Whenever a guy had a hard day, I show them that. Just battle your ass off, keep fighting, and good things will happen for you.”

Ray Goff initially discouraged Muschamp from getting into coaching:

“I told him, ‘You don’t want to do that,’” recalled Goff, whom Georgia released after a 6-6 season in 1995. “I’d just gotten fired. I’d made $112,000 a year in salary. I just didn’t think he’d be happy. But I’m glad he followed his passion.”

He takes responsibility for the problems at Florida and doesn’t hold a grudge:

“Really, it comes down to offense,” he said. “… I’m taking full responsibility for that, and making it better in this situation.”

“Nothing but fond memories,” he said. “I don’t get into the negative part of how it ended. That’s part of our profession. Things didn’t work, and a decision was made.”

The full feature, which tells the story of Muschamp’s athletic and coaching careers, can be viewed here.

Source: Saturday Down South

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