South Carolina defensive line coach Lance Thompson is not expected to return to the Gamecocks next season, a source told The State on Thursday.
Thompson “will not be kept,” ABC of Columbia reported on Thursday. He has coached South Carolina’s defensive line since head coach Will Muschamp was hired prior to the 2016 season. He was one of Muschamp’s first hires, coming with the head coach from Auburn.
South Carolina had already added Thomas Brown this offseason. Brown will coach running backs in 2019 and took assistant coach Pat Washington’s position on the staff.
When Brown’s hiring became official Wednesday, athletics director Ray Tanner indicated that more football staff changes could be coming. It’s not clear when the Gamecocks will officially address Thompson’s status.
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“Believe Will already has his replacement lined up,” FootballScoop tweeted Thursday.
Thompson has had a long career in the Southeast, coaching at Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, LSU and UCF, often for Nick Saban.
He is listed by 247Sports as a key recruiter for five-star defensive end Zacch Pickens, plus four-star Joseph Anderson. At past spots, he played roles in recruiting the likes of Julio Jones, Da’Shawn Hand and Jonathan Allen to Alabama.
Thompson came to USC as the defensive line coach, but his role was switched to tackles coach before this season. Mike Peterson worked with the outside linebackers, Bucks and defensive ends.
Whoever gets the job will inherit a stocked cupboard of blue chippers, which includes Pickens, Anderson, Josh Belk, Rick Sandidge, Javon Kinlaw and Kingsley Enagbare.