Will Muschamp discusses what new South Carolina position coaches will bring to the Gamecock program
Mike Bobo’s hire was the biggest offseason move made by Will Muschamp in Columbia this offseason but the addition of the offensive coordinator was far from the only move made by the South Carolina coach.
Following a difficult 4-8 season last fall, change was inevitable this offseason in Columbia. Now with the staff shakeup complete, South Carolina has begun spring camp with Joe Cox serving as tight ends coach, Tracy Rocker as defensive line coach and Rod Wilson serving as inside linebackers coach.
During his first media availability of the spring, Muschamp outlined what each assistant coach would bring to his program in their first season in Columbia.
Former Georgia quarterback Joe Cox following Bobo to South Carolina after spending the last three seasons as the tight ends coach under Bobo at Colorado State. Cox also played for Bobo during the coordinator’s time in Athens.
“Joe Cox, you see why Mike was adamant about having Joe here,” Muschamp said. “Very bright, very intelligent, a really good teacher, does a great job with our players, really a good evaluator as far as recruiting is concerned, does a nice job on the recruiting front. So I think he will be a very valuable member of our staff moving forward.”
The hire of Tracy Rocker brought instant credibility to South Carolina’s defensive line room as the former standout Auburn lineman not only excelled playing the position in the SEC, he’s coached it all across the league to much success. Rocker came from Tennessee, where the Vols entered each of the last two seasons with question marks across the defensive line and finished those seasons with solid units.
“I’ve been trying to hire Tracy Rocker before and finally was able to do it this time, but a guy that understands how we play,” Muschamp noted. “And we’ve got a certain teaching progression, but he’s kind of grown up in our system and understands how we want to coach, whether it’s two-gap, whether it’s one-gap, and how we want to play blocks up front.
“So it’s really good to have him on staff, and his experience for our staff and for our players is huge in the front seven. And he’s done an outstanding job in everywhere he’s been as far as developing players, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Muschamp even noted he has asked Rocker for his input on how other SEC programs were run in order to improve the South Carolina program.
“Every new coach that we bring in, I learn something from them,” Muschamp admitted. “As far as what they’ve done before, I’m always trying to bounce ideas. I was talking to coach Rocker yesterday about some different things they’ve done at different places he’s been, and how they travel on Fridays, how they handle Saturday, a night game. We have all those type of discussions just to learn how some different people do things. And we certainly don’t have all the answers, but you always are trying to grow and learn from how people do things differently.”
Finally, on the team’s new linebackers coach, Rod Wilson, Muschamp sounded eager to add a former Gamecock player coming off a Super Bowl title as a coach with the Chiefs.
“Rod Wilson, a guy that I’m excited about, a former Gamecock, former team captain, Super Bowl champion,” the South Carolina coach said. “I actually interviewed Rod our first year and was extremely impressed with him. And coached one more year at Charleston Southern, and then spent the last three years at Kansas City, had some of the better special teams units in the National Football League, but a lot of experience.
“I’m working with the linebackers with him right now. We have a certain way we want to, vernacular, and verbiage, and how we teach things. And so he’s going through that right now. It has nothing to do with his expertise to coach linebackers, believe me, he’s going to be fine. But we just want to make sure we’re on the same page, and he’ll take ’em over after spring ball as we move into the fall.”