A familiar face will be on the field when South Carolina starts its spring football practices.
Former Gamecocks standout Syvelle Newton will work with the team in a volunteer undergraduate coaching position. The spot is not one of the team’s nine, on-field assistants or graduate assistant spots, and Newton is not sure where he’ll be dispatched once practice starts, but he’s happy to be back, he said Tuesday.
“I know I would like to be on the offensive side of the ball, but I’m not sure yet. I just went and met with (coach Steve Spurrier) today,” Newton said.
Newton, who last year was on the roster of the now-defunct Kansas City Command of the Arena Football League, has enrolled in classes at South Carolina and hopes to finish his college degree in May, he said. Newton, who was an assistant coach at Brookland-Cayce High School for two seasons, hopes to parlay his Gamecock experience into a head coaching job in the Midlands.
“I always had it in the back of mind that I wanted to coach high school ball,” he said. “It’d be nice to land at one of the high schools here with someone looking for a young offensive-minded head coach who knows how to win championships.”
Newton played multiple positions during his Gamecock career, including quarterback, receiver and defensive back. He entered the 2007 NFL Draft but went undrafted before spending time in the CFL and AFL.
“I didn’t quite reach my highest level that most people thought I would, but I still have a chance to help others,” Newton said. “Maybe God wanted me to help others reach that goal.”