Marcus Lattimore is returning to the South Carolina football program.
The former Gamecock great has accepted a position on Will Muschamp’s staff as the director of player development.. An official announcement is expected Friday.
Lattimore takes over for Andre Goodman, a USC Hall of Famer. Goodman spent five seasons in the role but left to take another job with the Miami Dolphins.
“No one knowns how to handle adversity and success as a Gamecock more than Marcus Lattimore,” Muschamp told ESPN. “He could have gone anywhere in the country and decided to stay here. He positively affects everyone around him. He has an infectious attitude and personality and is a first-class individual. He’ll be a tremendous asset to our organization.”
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Lattimore’s job duties include focusing on off-the-field activities of the student-athletes and serving as an important resource in balancing the demands of academics, athletics, community outreach, and their personal lives as they transition in and out of college athletics.
The role is perfectly suited for Lattimore, who is known as a man of his faith and stresses the importance of having high character.
“There’s more to life than football,” Lattimore said in an interview with WACH Fox. “You’re not (at USC) just to play. You’re here for a higher purpose. You can use that. You can use football and not let football use you.”
Lattimore spent the last two years as a football coach at Heathwood Hall. He led the Highlanders’ middle school program to a city championship in 2016. Last year, he was varsity coach and the Highlanders went 1-8.
Lattimore informed his team of the decision Thursday morning. Heathwood Hall posted a Thank You message to Lattimore on its Twitter.
“I want to thank Marcus for being part of the Heathwood family the past two years. In the short time he has been at Heathwood, he has impacted the lives of the Heathwood community young and old,” Hathwood Hall Athletic Director Jeff Whalen said. “He is a true mentor of young people, and in his new role, I know he will continue to help many more young people.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Marcus and during that time, I have been very lucky to have become good friends with him. We will definitely miss his presence on campus. I wish his wife Miranda and him the best.”
Whalen said the search for Lattimore’s successor begins immediately and he hopes to have someone in place before spring practice.
Lattimore was expected to take a position on Muschamp’s staff at USC two years ago. But the NCAA ruled that it would be an unfair advantage if he continued to do his camps as part of the Marcus Lattimore foundation.
But Lattimore told WACH Fox he can still have the foundation but can’t be present at any of the camps that are held throughout the state.
“I’ve worked some things out with compliance and the NCAA and we’ve got things ironed out,” Lattimore told the TV station.
Lattimore was one of the most beloved players in USC history. He rushed for 2,677 yards and had 41 TDs in his career. His football career was cut short by a pair of knee injuries suffered at South Carolina. The San Francisco 49ers drafted him in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft, but he never played. After retiring from football, he returned to USC and completed his degree.