A pair of former Florida quarterbacks and one of the most successful quarterbacks in South Carolina history are the top candidates to coach the Gamecocks’ current crop of passers.
USC coach Steve Spurrier has spoken with East Carolina assistant coach Phil Petty and ex-Gators Noah Brindise and G.A. Mangus about the Gamecocks’ quarterbacks vacancy, sources said.
Petty, who grew up in Boiling Springs, was the starting quarterback for the winningest, two-year stretch in USC history. Petty won 17 of 23 starts in guiding the Gamecocks to back-to-back Outback Bowl appearances following the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
He was the MVP of the Gamecocks’ second Outback victory against Ohio State after passing for 227 yards and two touchdowns.
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Petty, a graduate assistant at USC under Lou Holtz in 2004, has spent the past four seasons on Skip Holtz’s East Carolina staff. Petty was the Pirates’ quarterbacks coach his first two years and has worked with the tight ends and fullbacks the past two seasons.
“I’ve got a great job right now and we’re having success. But obviously South Carolina’s a special place to me and it’s home,” Petty said Wednesday. “So it’s kind of unique in that respect. Something I would always be interested in is coming back there.”
The 30-year-old Petty also has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the head coaching position at Presbyterian following Bobby Bentley’s abrupt resignation.
While Petty has a strong background with the university and the state, Spurrier could be looking for someone more familiar with his offensive system. Brindise and Mangus played and coached under Spurrier at Florida.
Mangus was a backup quarterback in 1990-91 during Spurrier’s first two years in Gainesville, and stayed on as a graduate assistant for three years. Mangus was head coach for four years at Division III Delaware Valley in Pennsylvania before becoming offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee in 2006.
In his first season at MTSU under former Clemson and USC assistant Rick Stockstill, Mangus oversaw the Sun Belt’s top scoring offense.
Brindise, who played at Florida from 1995-97, also was a graduate assistant under Spurrier. The 33-year-old Brindise was Spurrier’s quarterbacks coach during his two-year stint with the Washington Redskins.
Brindise has been in private business in Gainesville, Fla., the past two years following stops at East Carolina and UNLV.
Spurrier has three more hires to make after bringing in former Illinois assistant Eric Wolford as the Gamecocks’ offensive line coach and running game coordinator. In addition to the quarterbacks position, Spurrier also is looking for replacements for safeties coach Ron Cooper and strength coach Mark Smith, who left for LSU and Tennessee, respectively.
Spurrier considered having his son, receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr., take over the quarterbacks, but decided not to change his responsibilities.
Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.