Josh Kendall

South Carolina’s 2019 opener vs. UNC just got a lot more interesting

Mack Brown’s hiring as North Carolina’s next football coach surprised the college football world. And it set up an interesting stretch of games for South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp.

The Gamecocks play the Tar Heels on Aug. 31, 2019, in Charlotte to open the season. That means Muschamp will be facing three head coaches he used to work for in the next five games.

South Carolina (6-5) takes on Akron and head coach Terry Bowden on Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium. Bowden gave Muschamp his first college coaching job as a graduate assistant at Auburn in 1995 and 1996.

Brown, who will be serving his second stint as North Carolina’s head coach, employed Muschamp as his defensive coordinator at Texas from 2008-2010. Muschamp was the Longhorns’ head coach-in-waiting when he was hired to be Florida’s head coach in 2011.

The Gamecocks finish off the Muschamp reunion tour by playing Alabama and head coach Nick Saban on Sept. 14, 2019, in Williams-Brice Stadium. Muschamp worked for Saban at LSU from 2001-2004.

Muschamp is 0-2 in his career against his former bosses with both of those losses coming to Saban while Muschamp coached at Florida.

Brown has been working at ESPN during his time away from coaching and was in Columbia in 2016 to serve as an analyst for South Carolina’s spring game.

“Three of the best years of my life were at the University of Texas, coaching there for him and working for (Brown),” Muschamp said at the time. “He and I have stayed in touch. He took over at Tulane, took over at North Carolina and took over at Texas and built every one of those programs to great success. That was his message – about coming into a new situation, adapting to a new staff and some of the things that he went through. He did a fantastic job, as he always does.”

Also in 2016, Brown told The Oklahoman newspaper that naming Muschamp as his replacement in waiting was a mistake.

“I made a mistake with the administration here when I suggested we put Will Muschamp as the coach-in-waiting,” Brown told the paper. “That sent a message to people that I was ready to get out of coaching, and that wasn’t why we did it. We did it to pay him more to keep him because we thought we had a chance to win the national championship. Since that time, it wasn’t as much fun because there was a thought, an underlying thought, that I was wanting to get out of coaching because of the move that I made.”

South Carolina 2019 Football Schedule

Aug. 31 North Carolina (Charlotte, N.C.)

Sept. 7 Charleston Southern (Williams-Brice Stadium)

Sept. 14 Alabama (Williams-Brice Stadium)

Sept. 21 Missouri (Columbia, Mo.)

Sept. 28 Kentucky (Williams-Brice Stadium)

Oct. 5 Open Date

Oct. 12 Georgia (Athens, Ga.)

Oct. 19 Florida (Williams-Brice Stadium)

Oct. 26 Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.)

Nov. 2 Vanderbilt (Williams-Brice Stadium)

Nov. 9 Appalachian State (Williams-Brice Stadium)

Nov. 16 Texas A&M (College Station, Texas)

Nov. 23 Open Date

Nov. 30 Clemson (Williams-Brice Stadium)