Josh Kendall

Marcus Lattimore will have role in finding new USC football coach

South Carolina football’s Marcus Lattimore
South Carolina football’s Marcus Lattimore

Former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will be one of seven members of an advisory committee put together by athletics director Ray Tanner to help find the Gamecocks next football coach.

South Carolina must replace Steve Spurrier, who resigned abruptly on Oct. 12. Former Gamecocks offensive line coach Shawn Elliott was named interim head coach and will lead South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) against Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2) on Saturday.

Lattimore will be joined by USC provost Joan Gable, Columbia attorney I.S. Leevy Johnson, board of trustees member Gene Warr, Gamecock Club board of directors member Chip Comer, former Gamecocks football player and donor Ken Wheat and former USC faculty athletics representative Susie VanHuss on that group.

Details of the group’s schedule and its role in assisting Tanner have not been released by the school. Lattimore did not return a phone call seeking comment on his role in the search.

South Carolina also has employed search firm Eastman & Beaudine out of Plano, Texas to assist in the search. Eastman & Beaudine CEO Bob Beaudine has worked on the searches of more than 30 major college athletics directors and 20 head football and basketball coaches.

Eastman & Beaudine helped place Memphis coach Justin Fuente with the Tigers in 2012. Fuente, whose team is 7-0 this season, is considered a candidate for the open job at South Carolina and several other locations. The company has placed head football or basketball coaches at Clemson and Ole Miss among other schools, according to its website.

“When I interview basketball coaches," Bob Beaudine told D Magazine in Dallas in 2006, “I’m not asking them about Xs and Os. If they weren’t competent, they wouldn’t be sitting in front of me. When I interview coaches, I’m looking at character, integrity, leadership—the interpersonal skills. I’m interviewing for personal qualities that transcend the technical. Coaches who have failed spent all their time on the ‘what’—the Xs and Os—and not enough on the ‘who.’”