- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

South Carolina has officially announced Will Muschamp will be its next football coach, replacing the Gamecocks’ all-time wins leader Steve Spurrier.

The school said Sunday evening on its football Twitter feed, introducing “our new Head Coach, Will Muschamp!”

South Carolina has scheduled an introductory news conference for Muschamp on Monday morning. University trustees will vote on Muschamp’s contract before he meets the media.

The 44-year-old Muschamp spent this past season as Auburn’s defensive coordinator after being fired after four seasons as coach of the Gators. He is the second straight Florida coach to hold South Carolina’s permanent job, following Spurrier, who left in mid-October after 10-plus seasons in Columbia.

Spurrier won 86 games at South Carolina.

Muschamp spent four seasons with the Gators, leading them to an 11-3 season in 2012. But he was just 10-13 the next two seasons and was let go by Florida. Muschamp said then that Florida’s next coach would inherit a big-time roster and was proven correct as Jim McElwain led the Gators to the SEC Eastern Division crown in his first season.

Spurrier believed South Carolina’s players needed a change from his style. They’ll have one in the fiery Muschamp, nicknamed “Coach Boom.”

Just last month, Muschamp drew a 15-yard penalty in Auburn’s Iron Bowl loss to Alabama for yelling at officials, who had called a Tiger defender for a late hit. Muschamp’s competitiveness was on display for TV cameras and social media posters to see and showcase.

Muschamp’s hiring caps a strange period in Gamecock football. Spurrier’s departure halfway through the season was stunning. Interim coach Shawn Elliott won his debut as coach, carrying Spurrier’s visor onto the field. But Elliott, interviewed formally by Tanner, lost the team’s final games including a defeat to FCS opponent Citadel.

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez turned down an offer to become South Carolina’s head coach, said a Twitter post Saturday night from Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne.

“Great news! @CoachRodAZ did not commit to the offer from S. Carolina. He’s an Arizona Wildcat. #BearDown,” Byrne tweeted.

Muschamp has also been coach-in-waiting at Texas in the final years of Mack Brown before bolting for the Florida job. He also coached under Nick Saban at LSU and was the Tigers defensive coordinator in 2003 when they won the BCS championship.

South Carolina players spoke out about the hire on social media.

Quarterback Perry Orth posted, “Alright Coach Muschamp, let’s ride,” on Twitter.

Defensive lineman Bryson Allen-Williams also welcomed Muschamp on Twitter, “First guy to offer me a scholarship is now my headcoach , welcome to the family @CoachWMuschamp.”

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, Muschamp’s newest state rival, said Sunday that South Carolina’s new hire is a “great one.”

Swinney said they got to know when he was at Alabama and Muschamp worked at Auburn.

“He’s a guy that I know is going to be thankful to have another opportunity,” Swinney said Sunday. “And I guarantee you that he’ll do a great job for South Carolina.”

___

AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide