South Carolina’s board of trustees signed off on the hiring of Will Muschamp during a morning meeting Monday.
Muschamp, 44, will receive a five-year contract worth $3 million annually in its first year. He will be the 34th head coach in the school’s history. The vote by the board was unanimous.
“I am very excited about the future of this football program under his leadership,” athletics director Ray Tanner said. “I think he’s going to be here for a long, long time.”
Muschamp’s contract includes a $100,000 annual escalator, meaning he will be paid $3.4 million in its final year. If Muschamp decides to leave in the first year of the deal, he will owe the school $7 million, and that buyout will decrease by $1 million each year. If the school fires Muschamp without cause during the deal, it will owe him 70 percent of the remaining value of the contract.
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The contract includes multiple incentives that could total up to $1.075 million if all are reached on one year. Those incentives include but are not limited to winning the SEC and national titles, being named SEC coach of the year and academic milestones.
“I am excited about this hire for a number of reasons,” trustee Chuck Allen said. “I like his leadership style. I like his passion. I like his fieriness. I like his intensity. I like his commitment.”
Muschamp comes to South Carolina from Auburn, where he was the Tigers defensive coordinator in 2015. Muschamp is often called “Boom” due to his fiery sideline demeanor and favorite heat-of-the-moment expression, and he built an excellent coaching reputation as a defensive coordinator before becoming the Gators head coach.
Muschamp’s Gators were a combined 7-9 in the SEC in his final two seasons and his team’s offenses were consistently among the worst in the conference, but his defensive prowess and respect in the coaching community led many people to believe he would get a second chance as a head coach sooner rather than later.
Muschamp’s firing at Florida was announced after the Gators fell 23-20 to South Carolina in Gainesville, Fla., on Nov. 15, 2014.
“I was given every opportunity to get it done here, and I simply didn’t win enough games -- that is the bottom line,” Muschamp said in a statement released by Florida at the time of his firing. “I’m disappointed that I didn’t get it done and it is my responsibility to get it done.”