When Spurrier Leaves, Who is his Replacement?

With the unexpected resignation of Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer, it reminds you that anything in the coaching business can change unexpectedly.

While South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier is not expected to leave the school anytime soon, it is never too soon to discuss viable candidates that could succeed Spurrier.

There are a couple in-house candidates as well as coaches who currently have other jobs.  We will look at three different candidates for each category.

In-House Candidates (Coaches currently with the school)

Shane Beamer, Special Teams Coordinator, Recruiting Coordinator, Spurs & Strong Safeties Coach – Beamer has a long title, but it is well deserved.

Beamer, the son of Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer, has made big strides in improving the special teams of the Gamecocks.

He has also raised the bar in recruiting for the Gamecocks.  After many failures with recruits from David Reaves, Beamer has brought in better athletes and athletes with good heads on their shoulders.

Beamer has the background and is a rising star in the coaching ranks.  South Carolina should do whatever is necessary to keep Beamer around for the long haul.

G.A. Mangus, Quarterbacks Coach – The main difference in Gamecocks’ QB Stephen Garcia’s development is Mangus.  When Mangus was hired, he was dubbed as Garcia’s baby-sitter.

There has also been a noticable difference when Mangus calls plays as opposed to Steve Spurrier.  Mangus tries to run the ball much more than Spurrier attempts.

Mangus, a Spurrier disciple, is only in his second season at South Carolina, but his presence has been felt.  He is very similar to Beamer in his reputation in the coaching world.  He is a rising star and will be a candidate for offensive coordinator jobs around the country.

Steve Spurrier Jr., Wide Receivers Coach – The only reason Spurrier Jr. is put in this list is because of his last name.

Much like the Lou and Skip Holtz experience, Spurrier Jr. has lost stock in his coaching capabilities.  While you could say his receiving core is among the best in the country, you have to look at improvements in recruiting.

Spurrier Jr. has also lost tasks within his tenure at South Carolina.  He was once the play-caller, but the idea of him calling plays any time soon won’t happen.

Like I said, the only reason he is a listed candidate, is last names go a long way in figuring out coaching pedigree.  See Derek Dooley, Head Coach for the University of Tennessee.

Outside Candidates

Gary Patterson, Head Coach, TCU – Patterson has guided TCU to multiple undefeated seasons, and multiple BCS games.

His name always comes up when big-time jobs come up every year.  Yet he remains at TCU, who will be in the Big East, a BCS conference soon.

However, when Spurrier leaves, he will be linked to this job.  Patterson was hired by current South Carolina Athletics Director Eric Hyman when Hyman held that position at TCU.

Hyman has made statements in the past that Patterson and him still communicate.  It would be no surprise if he follows Hyman to South Carolina.

Chris Peterson, Head Coach, Boise State – There is no secret about the success Peterson has had at Boise State after he inherited the job from Dan Hawkins, the now-former Colorado Head Coach.

It is worth pointing out that if Peterson balks at talking to Florida about their current head coaching vacancy, one would begin to wonder if Peterson would ever leave Boise State.

Not just for Florida, but for everyone, Peterson is at the top of the coaching wish list.  However, after the failure of Hawkins, you wonder if he is not willing to step-out of his comfort zone.

Brent Venables, Associate Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers Coach, Oklahoma – It is important to mention an up-and-coming coach to the conversation of potential replacements for Steve Spurrier.

Venables has been at Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops’ side now for several years.  He is recognized as one of the top defensive coaches in the country.

Hyman has shown that he has been willing to hire up-and-coming coaches.  This differs from the mindset of former South Carolina Athletics Director Mike McGee, who often hired the “big name” coach.  See Lou Holtz, Former South Carolina Head Coach.

The question would be whether or not you could pry Venables away from Oklahoma.  He is a likely candidate to replace Stoops, whenever that situation arises.

Venables would bring a defensive mind to South Carolina, an aspect that a South Carolina head coach has not had for several years.

There you have it.  While Spurrier is not expected to leave South Carolina anytime soon, it is important to realize that he is not getting any younger.

He has earned the right to coach the Gamecocks as long as he wants, but one day, the need of a new head coach will arise.


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