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Will Muschamp welcomes participants at the annual women's football clinic.

Monday July 28, 2014Girls Night Out: Women's Football Clinic Always a Hit

Will Muschamp welcomes participants at the annual women's football clinic.

By Rachel Labosky
Special to GatorZone.com

Will and women GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- “There he is!” a woman decked out in Gator gear gasped as she exited the elevator and entered the Champions Club level of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. She had spotted Florida head football coach Will Muschamp, a man that many of the ladies were looking forward to seeing on Saturday evening.

“Will Muschamp, we love you!” women hooted and hollered as they waited patiently in a line speckled with orange and blue for a photo op with one of the famous faces of Gator football.

Across all age groups in attendance, the females at the Florida Women’s Football Clinic shared one obvious common bond: a serious Gator football fandom.

Exhibit A: Michelle Adams of Apopka, Fla. “I’m a big Gator fan,” Adams said. “I eat, sleep and drink the Gators and I bleed orange and blue.”

Adams and about 100 others showed their colors during UF’s annual Women’s Football Clinic. The four-hour event offered an exclusive opportunity for women to get the full Gator football experience. The evening started with an autograph and photo session with Muschamp and included presentations by new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler, new receivers coach Chris Leak, plus discussions on nutrition and training.

Eventually, those talks gave way to a “Gainesville’s Got Talent” dance contest to get the ladies energized and ready to take the field.

Dillman and leadies The women were split into two groups -- as in Orange vs. Blue -- and sent their separate ways for tours of the Griffin/Oakley Strength and Conditioning Complex and the Gators home locker room and later took part in a relay race and skill stations on the field led by members of the coaching staff, spurned on by strength and conditioning coordinator Jeff Dillman (right).

At the conclusion of each group’s stadium tour, the clinic attendees ran out of the tunnel and onto the field under the lights just as the players do on those electrifying Saturday nights in The Swamp.

Fern Musselwhite, of Tampa, Fla., enjoyed the clinic so much last year, she decided to make the two-hour drive again for this year’s event.

“It was so much fun last year,” she recalled. “We laughed, the drills were a blast and the coaches are completely into it. They have as much fun as we do and it really endears you to them and gets you excited about the start of the season.”

Musselwhite’s high expectations for this football season were reinforced by the positive attitude of the coaches, staff, players and fellow Gator fans at the clinic.

we are the boys “I think the changes we’re going to see in the offense are going to be really explosive and exciting for the fans and the players,” she predicted.  “I just think there’s no ceiling on this season.”

The ladies closed the night lined up across the end zone with their arms around the Gator fan on either side of them (picture left), gazing up at the video board and singing along to the traditional Florida football anthem, “We Are the Boys of Old Florida.” The scene fully captured the camaraderie and loyalty of the females of Gator Nation.

“It’s exciting to watch these young men out on the field grow up as Gators,” Musselwhite said. “My husband and I have been in the stands for 20 years and it never gets old.”

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