If Shane Beamer is, in fact, the leader of the pack, like many first-year coaches, there is a good chance he will look to retain at least one member of the Will Muschamp coaching staff. And since Beamer does not have head coaching experience, it might be good advice — though extremely rare and almost unheard of — to keep offensive coordinator and interim coach Mike Bobo.

First, a bit about Beamer, the presumptive favorite:

Even though he’s 43, Beamer has coached multiple positions at several schools in the SEC, and in other leagues like the ACC and Big 12. Beamer played at Virginia Tech in the late 1990s under his father, Frank. Along with his father, the coaches who hired him before Lincoln Riley include Sylvester Croom, Steve Spurrier and Kirby Smart.

Beamer has spent the past 3 seasons at Oklahoma. Riley hired Beamer from Georgia, where he was special teams coordinator and tight ends coach for 2 seasons under Smart. Beamer was hired to be assistant head coach for offense and to coach the team’s tight ends and H-backs.

Before Georgia, Beamer was the associate head coach in charge of running backs at Virginia Tech from 2011-15. At the end of the 2014 season, he was the acting head coach at Tech for the Military Bowl while his father watched from the press box following throat surgery.

He was the cornerbacks coach at South Carolina from 2007-08, then served as its linebackers coach/special teams coordinator from 2009-10.

At South Carolina, Beamer coordinated the special teams under Spurrier and coached outside linebackers, and in his final 2 years was recruiting coordinator. He was nominated for the 2009 Broyles Award, which goes to the assistant coach of the year.

At Mississippi State in 2004, he spent three seasons coaching cornerbacks under Croom.

In 2018, Riley told The Oklahoman that Beamer should be in line to be a head coach in the future.

“He’s got all the characteristics,” Riley said. “I can’t think of a reason in the world why he wouldn’t. I was impressed with the way he recruited. I was impressed with the way his players played. I loved his background, that he had coached so many different positions.”

Those are the pros.

The cons are he has never hired a staff and has not called plays.

That’s why Bobo is even more valuable. The offense has upgraded the running game, and Bobo has developed two stars in Kevin Harris at running back and Shi Smith at receiver, which is not easy since defenses can largely focus on them. (Bobo also has every reason to lobby for the job. After all, between new coaches who are offensive-minded and/or call plays themselves, and relative new OC hires at places like Georgia and Auburn, there aren’t many places Bobo could land as an OC in the SEC. Kentucky may be the most logical if Eddie Gran is fired, other than longer shots at Tennessee and Vanderbilt.)

Bobo is a well-respected offensive coordinator, and at Colorado State as head coach, he led the Rams to 3 of the top-6 marks for total offense in a season as well as the school record for most yards per game in a season in 2017. Bobo also coached them to 3 of the top 7 scoring seasons in CSU history.

At Georgia, Bobo also was a Broyles Award finalist, this time in 2012, and during 92 games with the Bulldogs as OC, they scored 30-plus points 57 times, 40-plus points 29 times and more than 50 points 13 times.

It is extremely unusual (see below) for a new coach to retain an offensive coordinator, but if South Carolina hires Beamer, one of Beamer’s first moves should be to retain Bobo.

Several players Beamer helped recruit at that time have endorsed him as head coach, including former Gamecocks RB Marcus Lattimore, QB Stephen Garcia, DE Melvin Ingram and DB D.J. Swearinger.

Lattimore said, “I’ll say candidly, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I had. And while I didn’t play a lot of special teams … he made you want to play special teams. He’s enthusiastic, he’s passionate and he’s somebody that knows the state.”

Here is a look at current SEC head coaches and whether they retained the offensive coordinator when they took over, and if not, where that coach went:

  • Alabama, 2007, Nick Saban: David Rader was not retained, and was out of coaching until he became Ole Miss co-offensive coordinator in 2010.
  • Arkansas, 2020, Sam Pittman: Joe Craddock was not retained, now at UAB as tight ends coach
  • Auburn, 2013, Gus Malzahn: Scot Loeffler was not retained, went to Virginia Tech.
  • Florida, 2018, Dan Mullen: Doug Nussmeier was not retained, went to Dallas Cowboys as tight ends coach.
  • Georgia, 2016, Kirby Smart: Brian Schottenheimer was not retained, went to Indianapolis Colts as quarterbacks coach.
  • Kentucky, 2013, Mark Stoops: Randy Sanders was not retained, went to Florida State as co-offensive coordinator.
  • LSU, 2016, Ed Orgeron: Cam Cameron was not retained, did not stay in coaching.
  • Mississippi State, 2020, Mike Leach: Joe Moorhead did not name an offensive coordinator and called the plays himself. He went to Oregon as offensive coordinator.
  • Missouri, 2020, Eli Drinkwitz: Derek Dooley was not retained, now a senior offensive assistant with the New York Giants.
  • Ole Miss, 2020, Lane Kiffin: Rich Rodriguez was not retained, is not in coaching.
  • South Carolina, 2016, Will Muschamp: G.A. Mangus was not retained, went to Kutztown University as offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and tight ends coach.
  • Tennessee, 2017, Jeremy Pruitt: Mike DeBord went to Indiana as offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.
  • Texas A&M, 2018, Jimbo Fisher: Noel Mazzone went to Arizona as offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach.