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South Carolina Head Coaching Search: Gamecocks on Verge of Hiring Will Muschamp

All signs point toward the former Florida head coach taking the job in Columbia sooner rather than later

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

All indications at this hour are that the South Carolina Gamecocks will hire Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp to succeed Steve Spurrier as the team's head coach. Muschamp would be the second consecutive former Florida head coach to take the job in Columbia. But Muschamp's 28-21 overall record, and 17-15 mark in SEC play, was far worse than Spurrier's tenure in Gainesville before he took the South Carolina job (following an unsuccessful stint as head coach of the Washington NFL franchise).

Muschamp has already begun reaching out to figures like Marcus Lattimore, once a star running back with the Gamecocks, to see if they would like to join his coaching staff in Columbia. Meanwhile, reports are now surfacing that Muschamp has resigned from the Auburn staff.


Update, 4:21 p.m.: Auburn media sources (which I frankly trust more) are saying that Muschamp has not resigned. But with the other evidence of a pending Muschamp hire, there are still more reasons to believe it will happen than to believe it won't.

Spurrier is also reportedly promoting Muschamp's candidacy, something that could help soothe at least portions of the South Carolina fan base. But Muschamp is unlikely to be warmly welcomed among Gamecocks fans -- and he shouldn't be. This is the most important personnel decision in the history of South Carolina, and the Gamecocks have gone from Houston coach Tom Herman to Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to a man who led one of the conference's top programs to a level where it lost to an FCS team.

Ray Tanner's decision might prove the world wrong, and Muschamp might end up being a successful head coach in South Carolina. But the odds are against that, and given some of the other candidates who were reportedly willing to talk to the Gamecocks after Herman and Smart went elsewhere, the search for South Carolina's next head coach has to be considered at best a disappointment and at worst a failure.