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USC coaching: Strength coach named; 3 of 4 openings now filled

Head coaches with job openings at the annual convention tend to get swamped by interested applicants any time they make a pass through the lobby.

So Steve Spurrier is probably glad to be arriving in Nashville, Tenn., Monday for the convention with his coaching staff nearly in place.

Spurrier has hired Harvard strength coach Craig Fitzgerald for the same position with the Gamecocks. Fitzgerald’s hire, expected to be announced Monday, means USC has filled three of its four vacancies.

Former Illinois assistant Eric Wolford and ex-Middle Tennessee State offensive coordinator G.A. Mangus were hired last week as the offensive line and quarterback coaches, respectively. Wolford also will serve as the running game coordinator.

USC is awaiting word from Arkansas secondary coach Lorenzo Ward about its defensive position, vacant since safeties coach Ron Cooper left for LSU last week.

Prior to arriving at Harvard in 2005, Fitzgerald spent five years at his alma mater of Maryland, where he worked alongside Gamecocks special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski.

Fitzgerald, who played at Maryland from 1992-96, was a teammate and roommate of Under Armour founder Kevin Plank. Fitzgerald had done work with Under Armour, which is the Gamecocks’ apparel provider.

Fitzgerald replaces Mark Smith, who departed before the Outback Bowl to join former USC assistant David Reaves on Lane Kiffin’s inaugural Tennessee staff.Attempts to reach Fitzgerald on Sunday were unsuccessful.

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.