Sporting News names top 10 candidates for the South Carolina job
Sporting News released a list of the top candidates for the South Carolina head coaching job, and it included a few relatively big names.
Rich Rodriguez, Charlie Strong and Mark Dantonio are some of the coaches who, according to Sporting News, could have an interest in leading the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks have been looking for a new coach since Steve Spurrier resigned on Oct. 12. Interim head coach Shawn Elliott has led the team to a 1-2 record since Spurrier’s departure.
Here is Sporting News’ list of the Top 10 candidates:
- Rich Rodriguez – Rodriguez is Arizona’s head coach. He has also been the head coach at Michigan and West Virginia. He was the offensive coordinator at Clemson from 1999-2000, so he has recruiting connections in the state. His career record as a head coach is 151–103–2.
- Tom Herman – Herman has gone 9-0 in his first season at Houston and has the Cougars ranked in the Top 25. Before that, he was Ohio State’s offensive coordinator from 2012-14, and helped the Buckeyes win the national championship last year.
- Kirby Smart – Smart’s name has been linked to several head coaching jobs in the South over the past few years. He has never been a head coach, but he’s been the defensive coordinator for three national championship-winning Alabama teams. He has also spent 11 seasons coaching under Nick Saban.
- Justin Fuente – Fuente’s Memphis squad climbed as high as 13th in the country before losing to 45-20 to Navy last week. The Tigers have won 18 of their last 22 games. In 2011, Fuente took over a Memphis program that had gone 3-21 in its previous two seasons, and built the Tigers into a 10-win team in his third year.
- Shawn Elliott – Spurrier’s in-season resignation has given Elliott six games to audition for the permanent job. Sporting News says Elliott has righted the ship, but the Gamecocks are just 3-6 right now, and unless they beat Florida, The Citadel and Clemson, they will finish with a losing record and miss a bowl game. This is Elliott’s first opportunity to be a head coach.
- Charlie Strong – Strong is the head coach at Texas. Before going to Austin, he went 37-15 in four seasons as Louisville’s head coach, including 23-3 his last two years. He was an assistant coach at South Carolina from 1999-2002. Strong going to South Carolina is probably a long shot, but if he gets pushed out by Texas’ new athletic director, the Gamecocks could be a possibility.
- Mark Dantonio – Michigan State’s head coach seems well on his way to his fifth 10-plus win season in the last six years. The Spartans are currently 8-1 and ranked 13th. Dantonio was a defensive back for the Gamecocks from 1976-78. But like Strong, Dantonio is probably a long shot; with the success he’s had with Michigan State, it might be hard for another school to pull him away from East Lansing, even his alma mater.
- Rich Bisaccia – Bisaccia has been the Dallas Cowboys’ special teams coach for three seasons. He has connections to South Carolina, having been an assistant coach for the Gamecocks from 1988-93. Bisaccia has coached in the NFL since 2002, but before that, he was an assistant at Ole Miss from 1999-2001 and Clemson from 1994-98.
- Jeff Brohn – Brohm has led Western Kentucky to back-to-back winning seasons since becoming its head coach in 2014. He is an offensive-minded coach whose Hilltoppers teams have scored a lot of points. Before going to Western Kentucky, Brohm spent six seasons as an assistant at Louisville and one at Illinois.
- Scott Satterfield – Satterfield has led Appalachian State to back-to-back winning seasons since the Mountaineers moved up from FCS to FBS and the Sun Belt Conference. He is probably a long shot, but is an up-and-coming coach who could get an opportunity at a Power 5 school in the near future.