Carole Hoskyns is a breast cancer survivor and once she sets her mind to doing something, it usually gets done. The Zumba and workout instructor from Boiling Springs left home as the sun rose Saturday morning with one goal – to meet new South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp.
She was one of more than 400 women to attend Muschamp’s first Ladies Clinic and her goal was easily accomplished. It helped that Muschamp took photos with anyone that stood in a line that stretched across the length of The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium.
But the shirt Hoskyns was wearing made her stand out. Stitched across her black tank top were the words – “I beat Cancer, Muschamp doesn’t scare me.”
“Everybody talks about Muschamp being so intense and extreme and I thought we don’t need to be scared of him,” Hoskyns said. “We need to embrace him and tell him what we want – which is to win and set a good example.”
Hoskyns – who attended USC in the mid 90s and was attending her first Ladies Clinic – said Muschamp got a huge chuckle out of the shirt. Having met the man charged with getting the fans to forget last season’s 3-9 debacle, she feels more at ease.
“I wanted to find out what I felt about hiring Muschamp,” she said. “I feel good about it, but time will tell. I do like his intensity and his staff seems completely dedicated. We’re all behind him.”
Muschamp and his staff – minus outside linebacker coach Mike Peterson who had a death in his family – treated the ladies to a day of football. The passion was evident to Muschamp.
“It’s like everything else at South Carolina. Passionate, energy, loyalty. It’s been awesome,” Muschamp said when asked about the atmosphere of his first Ladies Clinic at USC. “Nothing is shocking me as far as our support here anymore. Our support is great. We need to do a good job with it.”
He said he hopes the ladies got a taste of how hard his staff works.
“We’re always going to be ourselves,” Muschamp said. “We have a very personable staff. That’s why they’re great recruiters. They’re representing the University of South Carolina in the right way and that is very important to everybody I hire.”
Ruthie McManus made the short drive from Great Falls to attend. This was her fifth Ladies Clinic – the previous four came during the Steve Spurrier era. Her goal was similar to Hoskyns’.
“I have to meet the new coaches,” McManus said. “That’s what we’re here for. We see what they’re doing online, but we haven’t met them yet. You can see their personality in person and see if they’re going to fire you up or be mediocre. I think they’re going to fire us up.”
Registration began at 8 a.m., but things got going when Muschamp took a break from pictures and introduced his staff. Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson each tried to give a little insight on how their units work in practice and on game days.
A players’ panel followed, which included Bryson Allen-Williams, Elliott Fry, Chris Moody, Larenz Bryant Brandon McIlwain and Mason Zandi among others. They took questions from the ladies.
The ladies then broke into groups and took to the newly sodded field at Williams-Brice Stadium to participate in various drills and competitions. After that, they toured the Training Room, Players’ Lounge and Weight Room/Nutrition Station.
The day ended when the ladies had a chance to run onto the field to the sounds of “2001” blaring across the stadium sound system.
“Getting to meet (Muschamp) and talk to the coaches was pretty cool,” Hoskyns said. “Getting to do the drills and seeing their intensity was awesome.”