Last season, South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp was fortunate to not have to make the choice between the job of being a college football coach and being a dad.
This year, he’ll have to miss a big moment for his son Jackson, as many coaches do while they guide other parents’ kids.
Jackson Muschamp will quarterback Hammond in the SCISA Class 3A state title game Saturday night. He was on a title winning team last year, but playing safety rather than quarterback. His dad made it for at least part of the game, slipping out of the postgame of a Gamecocks win against Wofford.
But this season, South Carolina’s tilt with FCS Chattanooga starts at 7:30 p.m., the same time his son’s game kicks off. Will Muschamp didn’t directly address missing the game but he spoke about the line a college coach with kids has to walk.
“I’m a dad,” Will Muschamp said. “I’m not a coach. I’m probably the easiest guy coach Kimrey’s got out there to deal with. I understand the things he goes through. I just enjoy watching my son play.”
At one point this season, he relinquished his weekly radio show to assistants to go watch his son. Missing a child’s moments are something all too common in the competitive, high-stress world of college spots.
It’s also the first time Jackson Muschamp will have a game while his father coaches.
“I never experienced it before,” Jackson Muschamp said. “It is going to be kind of weird but I am excited for our game.”
Jackson Muschamp worked behind Corbett Glick last season. Glick is now a walk-on with the Gamecocks. In his first season starting, Muschamp has completed 169 of 253 passes (66.8 percent) for 2,695 yards, 33 touchdowns and only six interceptions and is trying to lead the SkyHawks to their 10th title in 15 seasons.
Hammond will face a First Baptist squad it beat 28-21 earlier this season. First Baptist won last year’s 2A title.
Will Muschamp has recruiting ties to both schools, as he was at one point looking at First Baptist tailback Michel Dukes and he is currently recruiting Hammond five-star lineman Jordan Burch and four-star Alex Huntley. So he had a few thoughts on the game.
“Erik Kimrey does a fantastic job at Hammond, and they’ve got a really good football team and a bunch of good players and an outstanding staff,” Will Muschamp said. “Really proud of Jackson and the year he’s had. He’s got a lot of weapons to throw to. I guess I can’t comment on them.
“They’ve got a really talented bunch and First Baptist and Johnny Water, the head coach there, does an outstanding job. They had a really tight ballgame down in Charleston.”
So what will the father be able to offer his son for pregame advice?
“He will send me a long text telling me good luck, play hard, everything,” Jackson Muschamp said. “All that good stuff.”