South Carolina officially announced Kurt Roper’s hiring on Monday.
Roper actually was one of the first hires made by first-year head coach Will Muschamp.
“I feel like if I had hired him my first year at Florida I would probably still be at Florida,” Muschamp said Monday. “Really good football coach, really good fundamental football coach. I appreciate that he speaks his opinion. He tells me what he thinks. He makes good decisions on game day. I think there is a lot of bravado to him that is real and that is something that I want in a play caller.”
Roper spent the 2015 season as an offensive analyst for the Cleveland Browns, and South Carolina delayed making his hiring official until the Browns’ season ended. Wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon will have the title of offensive co-coordinator, but Roper will call the plays during games and be in charge of the offense.
Defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson will call the defensive plays during games. Muschamp has named Lance Thompson as defensive line coach and assistant head coach for defense.
“I feel really good about this group,” Muschamp said. “You have some guys who left their alma mater to come here. You have some guys who left pro ball to come here. The No. 1 thing was guys who wanted to be here. There were a bunch of guys calling me. I didn’t have to beg anybody to come here.”
Muschamp expects to make his final on-field assistant hire by next week. The person will coach outside linebackers, but it won’t be former USC defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.
Johnson will work for the Gamecocks as an off-field analyst, Muschamp said. South Carolina will employ “three to four” analysts for offense and defense under Muschamp in addition to two graduate assistants each for offense and defense.
“As much as anything, from a quality control standpoint, they study our film and look at what we do and what we need to do to be successful,” Muschamp said.