GAMECOCK COACH MAKES FIRST TWO HIRES
Will Muschamp – the University of South Carolina’s new head football coach – is wasting little time in assembling his staff.
A day after he was introduced as the Gamecocks 34th head coach, the former Florida front man named Travaris Robinson as his defensive coordinator/ defensive backs coach and Bobby Bentley as his running backs coach.
Robinson, widely regarded as one of the nation’s top recruiters, coached defensive backs at Florida from 2011-14 and at Auburn this season. The former Auburn defensive back spent three years in the NFL prior to becoming a graduate assistant under Muschamp during the latter’s first stint on the Plains from 2006-07.
“I look forward to Travaris leading our defense,” Muschamp said. “I’ve worked with him since 2006. He understands our schemes and systems and what we want to accomplish on defense.”
South Carolina has struggled on defense since Jadeveon Clowney turned pro prior to the 2014 season. The Gamecocks gave up 27.5 points per game in 2015, ranking No. 72 out of 127 Division I-A (a.k.a. FBS) teams. Total defense was even worse, with the 429.8 yards surrendered per game equating to the No. 96 national ranking.
Bentley – former head coach of the Byrnes (S.C.) High School Rebels – hopes to improve an anemic rushing game that averaged only 154.7 yards per game (85th in the country).
“We look forward to having Bobby back in the state of South Carolina,” said Muschamp. “He is a legendary high school coach in South Carolina who won multiple state titles. He will represent our University in a first-class manner.”
Bentley spent the past two seasons as an offensive advisor to Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. Worth noting? His son Jake Bentley is one of the nation’s most sought-after high school quarterbacks, a 6-foot-4, 217-pound pro-style quarterback who is now likely to give the Gamecock program strong consideration.
Muschamp is expected to hire former Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper to the same position in Columbia, S.C. – although that move was not announced this week. Roper ran David Cutcliffe‘s offense at Duke prior to joining Muschamp during his final year at Florida. Roper also led the Ole Miss offense during the Eli Manning era.