COLUMBIA -- Steve Spurrier completed his South Carolina football coaching staff Monday by announcing the hiring of Everette Sands as running backs coach. Sands replaces Jay Graham, who became the running backs coach at Tennessee, his alma mater.
Sands spent one season, 2011, coaching running backs at North Carolina State.
He coached at The Citadel from 1999-00 and from 2005-10. In his first stint, he was an assistant coach. In his second, he was the running backs coach.
He was a running back at The Citadel from 1990-93, and was a four-time All-Southern Conference player.
He ranks second in school history with 3,926 yards and was an All-American as a junior, when he helped the Bulldogs finish 11-2 and win the Southern Conference championship. In 2004, he was inducted into The Citadel's athletics hall of fame.
He never lost a fumble in his career.
Sands, who is 40 years old and from Conway, has also coached running backs at Elon (1996-98) and offensive backs at Ohio (2001-04).
Returning to his home state gives him a chance to work with one of college football's most talented running backs: rising junior Marcus Lattimore. Last season, Lattimore ran for 818 yards and 10 touchdowns before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the seventh game. In 2010, he ran for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is expected to be fully recovered for 2012.
Spurrier began replacing his three departed assistant coaches on Friday, when he hired Kirk Botkin to coach linebackers and Joe Robinson as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. (Graham also coached tight ends.)
USC lost special teams coordinator John Butler to Penn State, where he will coach defensive backs. Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Ellis Johnson became the head coach at Southern Mississippi. Spurrier promoted defensive backs coach Lorenzo Ward to defensive coordinator before the Gamecocks beat Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl to finish 11-2.
With a third of their nine-man coaching staff being new faces, the Gamecocks are scheduled to begin spring practices on March 12. The spring game is scheduled for April 14.