COLUMBIA — There was never a limit on how much Shane Beamer could offer to his assistant coaches. He was told to do whatever he had to do to get the coaches he wanted, and South Carolina, even in a pandemic-caused crunch that will cause the athletic department to borrow money from the school, would cover it.
The entire staff isn’t finalized yet, but the 10 on-field assistants and the strength coach are. And while it was never a requirement, it’s sweet relief that the total price tag is over $2 million less than what USC paid its football staff last year.
It’s a difference of $2.305 million from a year ago, most coming from the $4.8 million fired coach Will Muschamp was set to make in relation to the $2.75 million coach Shane Beamer will make. The Gamecocks saved $300,000 each in the hiring of its coordinators, Marcus Satterfield and Clayton White, and got $250,000 from Auburn as a result of Auburn hiring Mike Bobo, Will Friend and Tracy Rocker after Beamer had already retained them.
“When you hire good coaches and win football games, other schools are going to want to hire coaches and your staff. I know I’m always going to be dealing with this to a certain degree,” Beamer said. “I’m very thankful for (athletics director) Ray Tanner and (senior deputy AD) Chance Miller and our board and president (Bob) Caslen and our administration that’s allowed me to do the things to keep people in this building as well.”
The most a non-coordinator assistant will make is $550,000 (offensive line coach Greg Adkins) with receivers coach Justin Stepp right behind him at $460,000. Defensive backs coach Torrian Gray is the only assistant with a built-in raise in his contract, which progresses from $350,000 this year to $475,000 next year and $500,000 in his final year.
Strength coach Luke Day, not one of the 10 on-field coaches but nevertheless a crucial part of the staff, will make $400,000, $50,000 less than predecessor Paul Jackson.
The former staff has scattered, with some finding jobs. Bobo is Auburn’s offensive coordinator while Rocker is over the Tigers’ defensive line, although weekend reports had Rocker being considered for an NFL gig. Eric Wolford is coaching Kentucky’s offensive line while Jackson landed at Utah State.
Reports last week said Muschamp was joining Georgia's staff. The school has said he is not employed there but it wouldn’t be surprising if Muschamp landed some kind of role with the Bulldogs because of his connections. He is a Georgia alum, head coach Kirby Smart is a good friend and Muschamp's oldest son plays for the Bulldogs.
He doesn’t need a high-paying gig, either, as USC settled with him for $12.9 million on his buyout.
Beamer is still working to fill out the rest of his staff and is expected to add several former players in analyst or support roles. Connor Shaw’s new role hasn’t been declared, although he will be on staff. The former Gamecock quarterback was director of player development, but Beamer hired Derrick Moore as executive director of character and player development last week.