Josh Kendall

Will Muschamp a potential national coach of the year? He was named one to watch

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp was one 20 coaches announced Tuesday on the watch list for The Dodd Trophy, which goes to the nation’s top coach at the end of each season.

“The Dodd Trophy distinguishes itself from other coaching awards due to the high standards used to determine potential candidates,” Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation, said in a statement. “This is the most-coveted coaching award because it looks beyond rankings, wins or losses, and measures the overall impact these coaches have on their players, universities and communities.”

The Gamecocks were 3-9 in the season before Muschamp was hired. They improved to 6-7 in 2016 and then to 9-4 last season. South Carolina is expected to finish in the top half of the SEC Eastern Division again this year after finishing second last season.

Muschamp is one of four SEC coaches on the list, joining Alabama’s Nick Saban, Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn.

The last Gamecocks coach to win a national coach of the year award was Lou Holtz in 2000. Steve Spurrier was named the SEC coach of the year 2010.