Muschamp era set to end at Florida

Gainesville, FL ( - Will Muschamp has decided to step down as Florida's head football coach at the end of the regular season.

The decision was made following Saturday's 23-20 overtime loss at home against South Carolina, a third straight loss at the Swamp for the Gators, who are just 5-4 this season with games remaining against Eastern Kentucky and Florida State.

"Upon evaluation of our football program, we are not where the program needs to be and should be," said Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley in a statement Sunday. "I've always said that our goal at the University of Florida is to compete for championships on a regular basis. Coach Muschamp was dedicated to developing young men both on and off the field. Our student- athletes showed tremendous growth socially and academically under his leadership. His players were involved in campus activities, engaged with the local community and represented the University of Florida with pride.

"I will be forever grateful to Will and his staff for their unwavering commitment to the University of Florida and the mission of our athletic program. He will be missed by everyone in our athletic department -- from the people that worked in his office to the people that painted the fields. Will knew everyone and they knew him and everyone in the building loved working with him. Will is as fine a man as you will ever meet, and I will always cherish our relationship with him and his family."

Florida had won two straight, including an impressive 38-20 triumph over Georgia two weeks ago, before Saturday's setback against former Gators coach Steve Spurrier.

The Gators are just 27-20 in four seasons under Muschamp, including 17-15 in the SEC.

"I was given every opportunity to get it done here and I simply didn't win enough games -- that is the bottom line," said Muschamp on Sunday. "I'm disappointed that I didn't get it done and it is my responsibility to get it done.

"I have no bitter feelings, but this is a business and I wish we would have produced better results on the field. We have a great group of players and a staff that is committed to this university and this football program. They have handled themselves with class and I expect them to continue to do so."

Muschamp took over for Urban Meyer after the 2010 season and the Gators were just 7-6 in 2011. Florida then went 11-2 with a Sugar Bowl berth in 2012, but injuries mounted early in 2013 and the Gators finished just 4-8 for the program's first losing season since the 1979 squad went 0-10-1.