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Muschamp out at UofSC, Bobo interim coach rest of season

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Sunday, November 15, 2020

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Will Muschamp's contract buyout is $13.2 million.
 
 

Will Muschamp's contract buyout is $13.2 million.

 

 

The University of South Carolina fired head football coach Will Muschamp, according to a prepared media release Sunday.

Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

The end of Muschamp’s 5-year tenure comes one day after Mississippi beat the Gamecocks, 59-42, gaining 708 total yards, and dropped UofSC to 2-5 this season. Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral shredded South Carolina’s defense, setting a school record with 513 yards and tossing as many touchdowns (four) as he had incomplete passes. “We knew what they were going to be in before we even called a play," Corral told media. "Knowing that really helps just cause we know what they’re going to do. We had the plays for what they were going to do and it worked out perfectly." 

The decision apparently was reached early Sunday, hours after the Gamecocks football team arrived from an early morning flight from Oxford, Miss. UofSC President Bob Caslen and Tanner reportedly met with the coaching staff and football players Sunday to inform them of the change.

Muschamp was in his fifth season as UofSC head coach with a record of 28-30. He is the only coach to take the Gamecocks to three bowls in his first three seasons.

Director of Athletics Ray Tanner announced Sunday that Muschamp was dismissed, effective immediately.

“After a thorough assessment of our football program, we have decided to make a change with the head football coach,” said Tanner. “I appreciate all that Will Muschamp has done for our program and wish him and his family the best moving forward. I believe our program will be well served by Coach Bobo as the interim head coach as we search for a new leader for Gamecock Football.”

“I appreciate everything Coach Muschamp has done for our University. He is a true professional and strong advocate for our student-athletes,” said UofSC President Bob Caslen. "Under his leadership, our football players excelled in the classroom and served as mentors in the community. Will also brought much-needed stability to the program. However, I believe it is time to move in a different direction.”

A search for a new head football coach will begin immediately, said Tanner. It will be UofSC’s first head football coach hire under new president Caslen.  

“We have great facilities, a passionate fan base, a University that is committed to excellence in football and a support system that is second to none in developing student-athletes,” said Tanner. “We will be looking for someone with the energy, commitment and organizational skills that can move our program to a championship level.”

In his first season in Columbia, Muschamp guided the Gamecocks to a 6-7 mark and a spot in the Birmingham Bowl. The Gamecocks doubled their win total from the previous season while increasing their SEC wins from one to three.

His second season brought more success, as the team won nine games for just the seventh time in school history, was the only Power 5 school to have a multiple win total increase in 2016 and 2017, finished second in the SEC East and earned a second-straight bowl appearance. The season culminated with an Outback Bowl victory over Michigan on New Year's Day.

Muschamp's third squad posted a 7-6 campaign and a third-straight bowl appearance. In his fourth year, the Gamecocks slipped to 4-8, but the season was highlighted by an overtime win over third-ranked Georgia, the eventual SEC Eastern Division champion.

Carolina defeated 15th-ranked Auburn on Oct. 17, to highlight this season's achievements.  

In nine seasons as a college head coach, all in the Southeastern Conference, Muschamp owns a 56-51 record, including a 28-21 mark in four seasons at Florida. He has also served as an assistant coach at Auburn, Texas, LSU, Valdosta State, Eastern Kentucky and West Georgia as well as the Miami Dolphins in the NFL.  

Muschamp and UofSC part ways with four more seasons remaining on the coach’s contract. Muschamp and the school agreed to a contract extension at the end of 2018 that carried through 2024.

Last December, in order to keep South Carolina running backs coach Thomas Brown on his staff, Muschamp reworked his contract for 2020, which reduced the amount of his contract buyout from $15.3 million to $13.2 million.

Muschamp, 49, has been a head coach in the SEC for nine seasons. Before taking the South Carolina job in 2016, he served in the same capacity at Florida from 2011-14.

Muschamp went 28-21 with the Gators, and after spending a year as defensive coordinator at Auburn, came to South Carolina after longtime coach Steve Spurrier resigned midway into his 11th season.

South Carolina reached bowl games in each of Muschamp’s first three seasons, finishing second in the SEC East and going 9-4 in 2017. That was on the heels of a six-win debut season in Columbia that immediately followed a 3-9 campaign. Things took a turn last season, however, when the program missed out on bowl eligibility for just the second time in 11 seasons and the first time since his tenure started in 2016.

 

 

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