Will Muschamp said at his introductory press conference that he didn’t want to get ahead of himself when announcing his staff. With reports saying he’s already decided on his offensive and defensive coordinators, former South Carolina staffers confirmed Monday that they are not being retained.
“He met with everybody (Sunday) night,” former co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said. “I think from what I understand, Shawn (Elliott) is the only one who has a chance to be retained.”
Elliott did not respond to calls and texts from The State. He is reported to be retained by Muschamp as offensive line coach, although he could leave if he was approached for the head coaching slot at East Carolina. Elliott and Muschamp were pictured with Richland Northeast High linebacker T.J. Brunson (a Louisville commitment) on Monday afternoon on the new coach’s first recruiting visit.
The rest of the Gamecocks’ former staff appear to be out. Defensive line coach Deke Adams and linebackers coach Kirk Botkin said that Muschamp would have to speak about his staff, but former running backs coach Everette Sands confirmed he has been fired.
“He talked to me, and I’m not going to be retained,” Sands said.
Co-defensive coordinator Jon Hoke, quarterbacks/tight end coach G.A. Mangus, special teams coach Joe Robinson and wide receivers/co-offensive coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. did not return messages seeking comment. Muschamp said in his press conference that he would serve as recruiting coordinator, which would seem to remove at least one of Spurrier Jr.’s titles.
Strength and conditioning coach Joe Connolly was not in the Sunday staff meeting and replied, “I know nothing,” when asked if he was being retained. Director of Recruiting Operations Robbie Liles toured the stadium with Muschamp on Saturday and is thought to be staying on, according to a source close to the program.
Reports have Muschamp hiring Kurt Roper, an offensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns and his offensive coordinator during his last season at Florida, as offensive coordinator. They also have Travaris Robinson, an Auburn staffer rated the top recruiter in the country, as defensive coordinator.
Bobby Bentley, a South Carolina native who turned Byrnes High into a powerhouse, confirmed to The State that he is joining the staff. Although he did not say in what capacity, his Twitter bio was changed to “running backs coach, University of South Carolina,” late Monday. Bentley served at Auburn as an offensive analyst.
“Don’t believe everything you read, or what you write,” Muschamp said Monday. “I know everybody’s got the staff figured out, so let me know when you know. We’re going to hire the best guys for us and the right fit for us, the best coaches for us, and the best fit for South Carolina. That may take some time, and I’m not going to put a timetable on it.”
Matt Connolly contributed to this story.