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January 16, 2009

Gamecocks Lose 5th Assistant Coach

South Carolina's running backs coach has left the program to join the Oklahoma State coaching staff. According to The State, he is the fifth assistant to leave the program since the Clemson game.

"Offensive line coach John Hunt was fired, safeties coach Ron Cooper was hired at LSU after being encouraged to look for another job, and recruiting coordinator David Reaves and strength coach Mark Smith joined the staff of Reaves' brother-in-law, Lane Kiffin, at Tennessee."

Despite Spurrier's objections, it looks like some of the assistants are positioning themselves for greater long term stability elsewhere.  When Spurrier arrived in Columbia, I felt that he would give them 5-6 years max.  Spurrier turns 64 in April, and the weight of all the losses has to be getting to him. 

He lost more games in SEC play during his first three years in Columbia than he lost during his entire 12 year career in Gainesville, and he has an outside shot at doubling his SEC loss total vs. his UF tenure next year (Year 5).

The coaching defections plus the mounting losses further convince me that this is Spurrier's last year coaching college football.  The talent level in Columbia just isn't strong enough to keep him there.  

The natural question would then become....who replaces Spurrier next year?  I'd list the top three candidates as Tommy Tuberville, Charlie Strong and Skip Holtz.



JT said...

I don't think it is so much the talent level as it is the game simply catching up with him. He won at Duke and there sure wasn't much talent there. And when he first got to UF, he was doing it with guys like Chris Doering, who I believe was a former walk-on. He was just new and innovative at the time and defenses didn't know what to do.

Granted, his lack of QB stability has killed any chance of significant progress is Columbia.

Anonymous said...

The story on SOS at Duke is that his players would always outsmart their more athletic counterparts.

Problem with South Carolina is that his players are both not good and not smart.

Anonymous said...

can't say it disappoints me to see the arrogant smirk turn into a frown over the years. welcome back to earth spurrier, and while you're at it stay at carolina antoher 5 years. 1-3 vs clemson and uga, holtz accomplished more with less.

Muckbeast said...

I vote Charlie Strong!

Muckbeast - Game Design and Online Worlds

Anonymous said...

Matters not who enters Columbia the coach, he will exit as a defeated and humbled man.

Ubiquitous GA Alum said...

Interesting thing about Gillespie leaving the OBC for a lateral move is this ...

"Robert Gillespie has known Steve Spurrier since he was 18, when Spurrier visited Gillespie’s home in Hattiesburg, Miss., during a recruiting trip in 1997.

Gillespie has played for or coached with Spurrier nearly every year since ..."

Of course SC had zero running game, but the OBC running game is built off the pass and they didn't have much of that either.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't happen to a better guy. Can't spell suck without USC.

rbubp said...

It almost seems to me that Spurrier gets frustrated and throws in the towel, or maybe it's that his frustrations, anger, impatience, and general bad attitude weigh on a mediocre team over a season. The last two years with SC and the last year with the Redskins the teams tanked toward the end of the year.

It's been fun watching him become irrelevant.

RC said...

I'd keep an eye on Mark Dantonio at MSU as a candidate for that job as well. He's a graduate.

Anonymous said...

very good point RC . . .+1

baltimore dawg said...

Please, God: someone hire Charlie Strong.

skidawg1985 said...

I cannot see D'Antonio leaving Michigan State for South Carolina. He has to look at the Big 10 and think he has a shot to win the conference every few years.

Seth said...

I think Dantonio just hauled in the nation's only recruiting class with a top 15 (25?) player at every position. Might want to fact check that, but if it's true, he could be a hot commodity--or he could stay and challenge his former mentor Tressel not only for best recruiter in the B10, but also for some championships.

Muckbeast said...

At this point, it would not shock me to see Spurrier retire before the next season begins.

Muckbeast - Game Design and Online Worlds

RidgeDawg said...

I think South Carolina would still finish 7-5 with the Big Tuna at the helm. Being from SC I do feel a little compassion toward my fellow sandlappers... then they go and beat us... not only beat us, keep us out of the BCS title game. Grrrrrr.... They're the only team besides Florida that I always...always pull against.

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Anonymous said...

I hope someone else just heard what our favorite cfb analyst Mark May said about the dogs.
Long story short, he said CMR and the dogs are awesome and will not be as affected as most think.

Tommy said...

I can't imagine, after what Tuberville has been through in 10 years at Auburn, that he has the appetite for the aggravation that coaching in Columbia brings.

Agree with the earlier poster -- for the love of God, somebody sack up and offer Strong an HC job.

The Watch Dawg said...

I think Tommy Tuberville would be a dangerous hire... for the rest of the SEC. He's a guy that has already been very successful at a smaller school in the SEC, surrounded by giants like Georgia, Alabama and such. And he wouldn't be an old fossil hire, like both Holtz and Spurrier were, he's a guy who was fired because of irrational boosters, not poor production. If I was a gamecock fan, I'd want to see Tubbs hired for the 2010 season, but as a Georgia fan, I hope it doesn't happen.

Anonymous said...

CSS is why no qb with another offer would look at got by with "fla." talent mistreating and in cases ruining careers.Funny how everywhere the genius goes he has qb probs.Before you try it none of his qb's at fla.(DW nice guy avg. qb) were very good, but had the athletes to overcome them.CSS is a classless $@& that won't be missed, even in can always get a qb out of "lock up"(again).

mitch said...

I think i might actually miss SOS. Its hilarious watching him lose at SCar.

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