South Carolina’s Will Muschamp didn’t coach Marcus Lattimore in his playing days. But the coach did try to hire the Gamecocks legend in the offseason and reached out Monday after he was hired has varsity coach at Heathwood Hall.
“I texted Marcus yesterday to congratulate him,” Muschamp said. “He’ll do a fantastic job. ... At the end of the day, the guy has the ability to relate with people. That’s really the No. 1 job as a coach is to be a communicator and be able to positively affect people around you.”
Muschamp tried to bring Lattimore on staff in a “life coach” role, but issues with Lattimore’s foundation and the NCAA prevented that.
Muschamp raved about Lattimore as a person, predicting he’ll rise through the profession not only because of his work ethic but because of the sort of person he is.
“He’s a great leader because of that,” Muschamp said. “That’s why he was a great leader as a player here, and that’s why whatever he does in his life, he’s going to be a tremendous leader because of his ability to positively affect people around him.”
Lattimore coached Heathwood Hall’s B team to a 5-3 record, the most wins it has ever had, and a middle school championship. He’s replacing Steve Victory, who was 4-15 in his two seasons.
Lattimore taking the new role actually puts him in a sort of adversarial spot with the Gamecocks’ coach. Muschamp’s son Jackson was the starting quarterback on the freshman team at Heathwood’s rival, Hammond.
“We texted back and forth yesterday,” Muschamp said. “I told him he better strap it on against Hammond, I’ll tell you that right now. He had some good choice words there.”