South Carolina parted ways with head coach Will Muschamp on Sunday. He was in his fifth season with the team and had posted a 2-5 record. Here are 5 potential coaching candidates for South Carolina.
1. Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina
One of the hottest head coaches on the market this offseason is already coaching in South Carolina. Jamey Chadwell has had a great season with Coastal Carolina, who ranks 15th in the country with a 7-0 record. When asked about the coaching position, he mentioned that his wife had a brake light out and that he has bigger things to worry about. That doesn’t give fans much insight one way or another, but is a fun little nugget.
Chadwell has experience coaching at East Tennessee State and Charleston Southern as an assistant. He has had head coaching positions at North Greenville, Delta State, Charleston Southern and now Coastal Carolina. At the FBS level, he has posted a 15-16 record overall, but one season he was just the interim head coach, as Joe Moglia dealt with health issues. If he keeps the good season alive this year for the Chanticleers, Chadwell will be looked at heavily for the South Carolina job.
2. Billy Napier, Louisiana
Another Sun Belt coach who has done a good job this season is Billy Napier. Napier took over as Louisiana’s head coach in 2017 and has posted a 25-11 record in his tenure. They lost the Cure Bowl in his first season at the helm, but won the Lending Tree Bowl after the 2018 season, which helped the Ragin’ Cajuns finish the season with 11 wins.
This season, Napier has led the team to a 7-1 record. Their only loss came at the hands of Coastal Carolina. They have a fantastic win over Iowa State, which shows Napier’s ability to get the most out of his teams. Napier has experience as an assistant at some pretty major schools, including Clemson, Alabama, Colorado State and Arizona State. Napier knows the conference and has recruiting ties in the south already, making him a viable candidate.
3. Hugh Freeze, Liberty
One look across college football will show a lot of coaches doing big things at smaller schools this season. Hugh Freeze has led the Liberty Flames to an undefeated record so far this season and they had a big upset win over Virginia Tech. At an independent FBS school, Hugh Freeze is doing a fantastic job.
SEC fans may remember Hugh Freeze from his time at Ole Miss. In five seasons at Ole Miss, Freeze posted a 39-25 record and famously helped Ole Miss upset Alabama. The won the Sugar Bowl and had a 10-win season in 2015. For South Carolina to hire Freeze they will have to overlook some of his past. He had recruiting violations and he was later fired for phoning a female escort service.
4. Luke Fickell, Cincinnati
Fickell may have proven more than anyone else on this list. He took over a Cincinnati program that was still recovering from a 4-8 season in Tommy Tuberville’s last season. Fickell has posted a 33-13 record with the Bearcats. He has back to back 11-win seasons in 2018 and 2019. This season, Cincinnati is undefeated at 7-0 with a chance to make the College Football Playoff.
While Fickell may be the most qualified for the job, he may not be the guy for South Carolina. He has worked his whole career in the state of Ohio and doesn’t have the recruiting ties of other candidates. Fickell also turned down the Michigan State job, which may be a sign that he loves what he is building in Cincinnati and may only leave for one of college football’s premier jobs.
5. Tony Elliot, Clemson (OC)
Tony Elliot is the current offensive coordinator for Clemson. He has led an offense that averages 45.4 points per game this season. Elliot has a lot of experience in the area as well, as he has had assistant coaching positions at South Carolina State and Furman before working his way up to offensive coordinator for the Tigers.
Elliot is the only person without any head coaching experience on this list, but he is still worth looking at for the position. South Carolina would be able to take a key component away from their rival, get someone who knows the area and a young coach who could grow into the position.
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