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Chris Smith on learning the origins of Will Muschamp’s ‘Coach Boom’ nickname: ‘I’m going to tease him about that’

Georgia co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp during a preseason scrimmage on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Georgia football safeties and stars are still learning some things about their new position coach. That would be Will Muschamp, who has been coaching at an SEC level since before some of his younger players were even born.

Muschamp first broke into the SEC all that way back in 2001, working as the linebackers coach at LSU. He would quickly rise to the defensive coordinator role next year. Other stops along his coaching career include defensive coordinator roles at Auburn, Texas and then Auburn once again. Add in his head coaching roles at Florida and South Carolina, and with Muschamp now serving as the co-defensive coordinator at Georgia and he’s coached at five SEC schools.

Most players know what Muschamp is about. He’s passionate without a doubt and very much cares for his players. Sometimes those emotions though overflow and lead to an eruption.

“He always lets us know that he loves us and that it’s coming from a good place,” senior defensive back Chris Smith said. “So even when he does shout, it’s not coming from a bad place. I’m always trying to hear the message and not the tone and that’s something we always preach. Things get a little rough out there sometimes. There’s going to be some shouting amongst players and coaches. Coach Muschamp is a great guy.”

Related: Will Muschamp explains why his role with Georgia football is ‘the best job in America’

Smith is in his fifth year with Georgia and will be entering his third as a starting safety. It’s the same position Muschamp played when he was a Bulldog back in the 90′s.

Smith was aware of Muschamp’s playing days and knows very well about Muschamp going off while on the sidelines from his time as a head coach. What he did not know was that those displays of emotion had earned Muschamp the nickname Coach Boom.

“Oh I ain’t heard about that. I‘m going to tease him about that,” Smith said. “We always see old clips of him going crazy when he was at South Carolina and Florida. We send it to him when he says he’s matured since them. I’m going to tease him about that one for sure.”

The origin of the nickname comes from his first stop as Auburn’s defensive coordinator. In a 2007 game against Auburn, the Tigers’ defense got a stop on third down. As the play ended, Muschamp bellowed a Boom so loud that it was picked up by one of the field microphones. Also picked up was a string of expletives that sound like they belong in a Quentin Tarantino picture. Note that in the video below, you can hear the expletives and that they not suitable for work.

That clip is now over 15 years old, so one can be forgiven if they don’t know the true origin of Muschamp’s iconic nickname.

And while Muschamp is still prone to getting overexcited at practice or in a game, he knows now he can also lean on players such as Smith to get the message across, especially to some of the younger Bulldogs on the team.

“I saw it last night,” Muschamp said earlier in August. “Billy Poole grabs Marcus Washington and tries explain something to Marcus, and immediately Chris is like, ‘Coach, I got it.’ Which, Billy Poole graduated two days ago. So, that’s a heck of a deal too. But, when you see those sorts of things, again, they get tired of Coach Muschamp sometimes, but they’ll listen to a peer, and that’s really, really important to have as you continue to work your way into the program and the culture that you create.”

Smith makes it a point to take in in the message and not the tone of what Muschamp or his fellow players are saying. Football is an emotional game and players and coaches run hot sometimes. They know Muschamp has the best intentions and wants the best for them.

And Muschamp, outbursts aside, is very happy in his role at Georgia. Perhaps that limits the occasional sideline eruption.

“I love my role. I told my wife the other day that I think I have the best job in America,” Muschamp said. “At the end of the day, the room that I have I am honored to coach. To be in that room, to be at the University of Georgia, to see our future as we continue to unfold and move forward - I am really excited about it.”

Chris Smith on learning Will Muschamp’s ‘Coach Boom’ nickname: ‘I’m going to tease him about that’

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