Josh Kendall

USC spends more in buildup of football under Muschamp. ‘It’s part of the evolution’

The 3 areas Muschamp says where football programs’ support staffs have changed the most

South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp breaks down the evolution of how support staffs have changed during his time as a coach.
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South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp breaks down the evolution of how support staffs have changed during his time as a coach.

Progress comes at a price. And it’s a hefty one in major college football.

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp has repeatedly referred to the school’s nearly completed $50 million football operations building as an “investment,” the kind of investment he and his bosses believe is mandatory to be competitive in the Southeastern Conference. But brick and mortar are only part of what the Gamecocks are pouring into their football program.

“When you invest in your program, you get a return,” Muschamp said.

Two years into his rebuilding of that program, the Gamecocks are doing just that. For the 2018 football season, South Carolina will employ 56 percent more people and spend 37 percent more money on employees devoted to the sport than it did in 2015, Steve Spurrier’s final season.

“There’s been an evolution across college sports. Certainly, football leads the charge in many ways,” Gamecocks athletics director Ray Tanner told The State. “I wouldn’t necessarily go back and say, ‘This was coach Spurrier and now it’s Will Muschamp.’ I would say it’s part of the evolution.”

In Spurrier’s final season, South Carolina was spending $8,247,677 on annual salaries in the football program. This season, the Gamecocks will spend $11,327,878. The team finished 3-9 in 2015 and 9-4 a year ago.

“I knew we were behind in numbers (of staff members in the Spurrier era), but that doesn’t necessarily equate to wins,” Tanner said. “A couple years before that, we didn’t have as big a staff as some of the other schools, but we had won 33 games in three years, so more’s not always better.”

It was clear, though, during Tanner’s interview with Muschamp that bringing the Gamecocks into line with most of their SEC brethren was going to take more people and more money.

“Part of the conversation was, ‘What does your staff look like?’ ” Tanner said.

Muschamp and his coaching staff account for most of the difference in spending. Muschamp makes $4.2 million annually, $200,000 more than Spurrier did in his final season, and his 10-person coaching staff earns a combined $5.05 million compared to the $2.96 million paid to Spurrier’s nine-man staff in 2015. (NCAA rules allowed a 10th on-field assistant to be hired beginning this season.)

Muschamp’s staff also employees four analysts, two on offense and two on defense, who make between $60,000 and $82,600 annually. Those staff members are usually in charge of watching film of the Gamecocks and opponents and passing ideas on to the on-field staff. Spurrier’s staff had no analysts.

The analyst position is a relatively new addition to most college football staffs. Alabama has 13 coaches, including former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones, listed as analysts in its 2018 media guide.

“Two analysts on each side is plenty. I don’t think more is better,” Muschamp said. “You hire coaches and you pay them pretty good to do a job. Part of your job as a coach is to research your position, research your side of the ball, study your opponents. I like doing that instead of asking somebody else to do it.”

The biggest reason for the disparity in staff size is hiring Muschamp has done in two areas — recruiting and nutrition.

Spurrier’s final staff had two salaried positions outside the coaching staff devoted to recruiting. Muschamp has added a director and assistant director of creative services, a director and assistant director of player personnel and a director of on-campus recruiting. Muschamp’s new hires in recruiting mostly are in charge of organizing on-campus recruiting efforts and creating videos that allow the coaching staff to more efficiently evaluate players.

“I don’t like to comment on previous situations, but we needed more work in recruiting,” Muschamp said. “We had to really build that department. That wasn’t something we necessarily had.”

The Gamecocks are also putting more money into their nutrition program and have doubled the salary of the head of that department, and that’s not the only position to be more highly valued. While Andre Goodman made $75,000 to be Spurrier’s director of player personnel, Marcus Lattimore makes $200,000 in a similar position for Muschamp’s team.

Those numbers do not include the hiring of associate athletics director for new and creative media Justin King and the seven people in his office. King, whose staff is paid a total of $487,000 annually, works primarily in service of the football program. He and his staff create promotional videos and content that Muschamp uses recruiting.

“He and his staff have made a difference in our program and our athletic department and our university,” Muschamp said. “You can say what you want, whether you like social media or not, but that’s where we are. It appeals to young people. Justin and his staff have done a great job of marketing our brand.”

The staff and support numbers also don’t include undergraduate student workers who receive a low hourly rate. Spurrier’s office had spots for four undergraduates, while Muschamp’s has room for 22.

The Gamecocks are near the middle of the pack in the SEC when it comes to football staff size, Tanner said.

“The size of the staffs have just evolved,” he said. “If you want to, you can be cynical and say, ‘There are too many people. They get paid too much.’ And go on and on and on, but it’s college athletics at the Power 5 level.”

The University of South Carolina, Cyndi and Kenneth Long Family Football Operations Center is on schedule to be completed this year. The $50 million center features locker rooms, training rooms, a two-story weight room, and amenities for athletes.

2015 South Carolina football salaries

Deke Adams

Defensive Line Coach

$ 320,000



Joseph Blake

Nutritionist

$42,001-$46,000



Kirk Botkin

Linebacker Coach

$ 320,000



Rita Boykin

ADMINISTRATIVE COORD I

$ 58,848



Grady Brown

Quality Control Coordinator

$ 270,000



Jordan Diaz

RECREATION SPECIALIST I

$ 23,660



Shawn Elliott

Offensive Line Coach

$ 325,000



Kim Fields

ADMINISTRATIVE ASST

$42,001-$46,000



Ryan Fischer

SUPPLY MANAGER I

$42,001-$46,000



Andre Goodman

DIRECTOR/ADJUNCT

$ 75,000



Jon Hoke

Co-DC/Defensive Backs

$ 400,000



Robbie Liles

Director of Football Operations

$ 120,000



G.A. Mangus

OC/QBs/Tight Ends

$ 300,000



Christopher Matlok

ATHLETIC COACH-USC

$ 99,194



Joe Robinson

Special Teams Coordinator

$ 300,000



Everette Sands

Runnings Backs Coach

$ 270,000



Patrick Shine

Administrative Recruiting

$42,001-$46,000



Jamie Speronis

Associate AD/Football Operations

$ 185,000



Scott Spurrier

Quality Control Coordinator

$ 61,200



Steve Spurrier

Head Coach

$ 4,000,000



Steve Spurrier Jr.

Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator

$ 325,000



Brian Turk

Quality Control Coordinator

$ 60,000



Lorenzo Ward

Co-Defensive Coordinator

$ 400,000



Travelle Wharton

Offensive Line Coach

$ 60,000



Shaq Wilson

Quality Control Coordinator

$ 61,200





GRAD STUDENT

$ 5,915





GRAD STUDENT

$ 23,660



2018 South Carolina football salaries

Andrew Belluomini

Analyst

$ 80,000



Bobby Bentley

Running Backs Coach

$ 400,000



Taylor Burns

Athletic Administrator

$26,001-$30,000



Kristin Coggin

Director of Football Nutrition

$ 95,000



Jeff Dillman

Director of Strength & Conditioning

$ 425,000



Kim Fields

Assistant to HC/Ass. Dir. of Ops

$ 57,673



Zachary Freshe

Assistant Director of Creative

$38,001-$42,000



David Hall

Assistant Director of Player Personnel

$ 60,000



Carina Hargreaves

Coordinator of Administration

$38,001-$42,000



Shuler Hayes

Assistant Director of Equipment

$34,001-$38,000



Coleman Hutzler

Special Teams Coordinator/LBS

$ 475,000



Jessica Jackson

Director of On-Campus Recruiting

$ 125,000



Kyle Krantz

ST Assistant/Nickels and Sam LB

$ 125,000



Marcus Lattimore

Director of Player Development

$ 200,000



Matt Lindsey

Director of Player Personnel

$ 175,000



Landon Martin

Analyst

$ 60,000



Bryan McClendon

Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers

$ 650,000



Demarco McNeil

Analyst

$ 82,600



Will Muschamp

Head Coach

$ 4,200,000



Porter Peterson

Outside Linebackers

$ 300,000



Travaris Robinson

DC/Defensive Backs

$ 1,200,000



Kristin Sheetz

Director of Creative Services

$ 61,950



William Strickland

Analyst

$ 61,950



Lance Thompson

Assistant Head Coach - Defense/DL

$ 500,000



Pat Washington

Tight Ends

$ 300,000



Thomas Waters

Director of Equipment Operations

$ 92,925



Dan Werner

Quarterbacks Coach

$ 500,000



Eric Wolford

Offensive Line Coach

$ 600,000



Clyde Wrenn

Director of High School Relations

$ 120,000



George Wynn

Director of Football Operations

$ 200,000





GRAD STUDENT

$ 5,650





GRAD STUDENT

$ 7,710





GRAD STUDENT

$7,710





GRAD STUDENT

$ 7,710













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