Bentley moves back to RBs on USC staff

usc gamecocks_20568
University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp has finalized his on-field coaching staff prior to the start of spring drills.

Here are the 2020 coaching assignments:

Will Muschamp Head Coach
Bobby Bentley Running Backs Coach
Mike Bobo Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Joe Cox Tight Ends Coach
Kyle Krantz Special Teams Coordinator/Assistant Defensive Backs Coach
Bryan McClendon Wide Receivers Coach
Mike Peterson Outside Linebackers Coach
Travaris Robinson Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach
Tracy Rocker Defensive Line Coach
Rod Wilson Linebackers Coach
Eric Wolford Offensive Line Coach

After a 4-8 campaign, change was inevitable, and Coach Muschamp has aggressively addressed that in the off-season, revamping much of his coaching staff. Only three coaches, offensive line coach Eric Wolford, outside linebackers coach Mike Peterson and defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, return in the same roles as a season ago.

“I had to make some hard decisions to do what’s best for the University of South Carolina and our football program,” said Coach Muschamp. “We also had some coaches have an opportunity to advance their careers somewhere else and we wish them the best. At the end of the day, I want guys who want to be here and want to work to help this program succeed.”

The biggest changes have occurred on the offensive side of the ball, where Coach Muschamp brought in former Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo to coordinate the attack and mentor the quarterbacks. Bobo has a long track record of success in the SEC and will use the spring to implement his vernacular and system. Bobo brought Joe Cox along with him from Fort Collins. Cox, who is originally from Charlotte, played at Georgia, and considered an up-and-comer in the profession, will be in charge of the Gamecock tight ends. Bobby Bentley shifts back to direct the running backs, a position he held from 2016-18, before becoming the tight ends coach a year ago. Bryan McClendon returns as the wide receivers coach.

“The first thing I asked Mike (Bobo) was to evaluate the offensive staff and see if we needed to make any changes,” said Coach Muschamp. “After meeting with the coaches individually, breaking down film and spending time with them in the staff room, he came away very impressed and had no reservations about them being part of the staff.

“Once we determined that we wanted to keep these coaches, Mike and I gave a lot of thought to how best to structure the staff. In 2018, we had Eric coaching the offensive line, Bobby coaching the running backs and Bryan coaching the wide receivers and calling the plays. That year we averaged over 30 points a game, over 150 yards rushing and over 425 yards of total offense per game, something that has been done only a handful of times at South Carolina,” noted Coach Muschamp. “It was a very productive year for us offensively.”

On the defensive side, veteran SEC legend Tracy Rocker joins the staff as the defensive line coach, while former Gamecock captain Rod Wilson returns to Columbia as the linebackers coach. Wilson, a Cross, S.C. native who captained the 2004 Gamecocks, was most recently with the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

“I’ve tried to hire Tracy in the past and am happy to finally get him to Columbia,” said Coach Muschamp. “Rod is a Gamecock, a Super Bowl champion and was very impressive in the interview process. With T-Rob, Mike (Peterson) and Kyle Krantz returning, I feel very good about where we’re at on defense.”

The Gamecocks also had a changing of the guard with their special teams units, as Kyle Krantz, who served as an assistant in that area for the past two years, takes over as the coordinator.

The Gamecocks will hold the first of their 15 allotted spring practices on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The spring will culminate with the annual Garnet & Black Spring Game on Saturday, April 4.

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