The South Carolina Gamecocks football program now has their thirty-sixth head football coach.
Shane Beamer, a recent Oklahoma Sooners assistant and son of college football legend Frank Beamer, will be tasked to lead the program following the dismal of previous head coach Will Muschamp. While Beamer was an acting head coach at Virginia Tech during a bowl game against Cincinnati back in 2014, this will be Beamer’s first major coaching gig, as he has never been a coordinator or a full time head coach.
Beamer is a name many Gamecock fans may not be familiar with and probably wouldn’t expect the school to hire as its next head coach. However, he does come with upside and some risk as he prepares to take on a position in which he has stated is his dream job.
A Proven Recruiter
Beamer was the recruiting coordinator under Steve Spurrier from 2007-2010 in which the Gamecocks were able to land recruits Marcus Lattimore, Connor Shaw, Melvin Ingram, as well as Stephon Gilmore and Jadeveon Clowney from nearby South Pointe High School in Rock Hill. With this recruiting, the Gamecocks were able to achieve great heights as a program, reaching the SEC Championship Game in 2010 and having three-straight eleven win seasons from 2011-2013. According to the recruiting service website 247 Sports, Beamer was responsible for landing current NFL cornerback Kendall Fuller at Virginia Tech, blue-chip recruits Channing Tindall and Zamir White at Georgia, and landing the nation’s top dual threat quarterback in Caleb Williams while at Oklahoma. Even though the state of South Carolina generally produces less blue-chip recruits compared to neighboring states Georgia and North Carolina, Beamer knows the blueprint on how to recruit good players to South Carolina and its neighboring states, especially considering the fact that most of South Carolina’s success earlier in the 2010s came from signing players in the Palmetto State and the Southeast.
Being Around Great Coaches
After being on Virginia Tech’s football roster from 1995 to 1999, Beamer has been a part of great college football coaching staffs. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech and Tennessee under coaches George O’Leary and college football legend Phillip Fulmer. Beamer then became the recruiting coordinator for Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom from 2004-2006 and later reunited with his father at Virginia Tech, coaching running backs from 2011-2015. Most recently, Beamer served on coaching staffs at Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs as special teams coordinator and Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma Sooners as assistant head coach. During his time with the Bulldogs and Sonners, Beamer was a part of a combined three conference championships, three college football playoff appearances, and a national championship game appearance.
South Carolina Native
Shane Beamer was born in Charleston during his father’s sint as a defensive coordinator at The Citadel. Even though his father is considered to be a Virginia Tech legend, Shane has stated that South Carolina is the dream job he would love to have, even getting emotional about it a few times. During his introductory press conference on Monday, he stated during the interview process his kids would dance to “sandstorm” and that he would try to record the Gamecocks coaches’ show to keep up with what’s going on at South Carolina. Beamer even took a shot at in-state rival Clemson, calling them “the neighbors from the upstate.” In short, Beamer knows the challenge ahead and is excited for it.
Coaching X’s and O’s
Even though Beamer has coached on both sides of football, he has never had the opportunity to be an offensive or defensive coordinator. Because of this, many of South Carolina’s major rivals, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee may not consider this hire to be a “fear factor” to them. With this feeling, Beamer will need to hire great coordinators if he wants to bring South Carolina back to the top of the SEC. He will also need the money from the school in order to bring the coordinators he wants to make the program successful. With these coordinator and assistant coach interviews in the next few weeks, they will need to be proven recruiters and be in the same line of what Beamer wants for his program. He will possibly need to bring in coaches as analysts to go along with his coaching hires as well.
South Carolina is a good job, but it’s a tough job. The Gamecocks play in college football’s toughest conference and their two main rivals, Clemson and Georgia, are two of college football’s juggernauts right now. Not to mention that two of the Gamecocks’ other permanent opponents, Florida and Texas A&M, are on the rise as well. Lastly, the Gamecocks have not played well against Kentucky, Missouri, and to some degree, Tennessee in recent years, programs that the Gamecocks should be better than. The good news is that Beamer wants to be here and has the blueprint to bring South Carolina back to the heights Steve Spurrier had it and establish a winning culture. Beamer should recruit the state of South Carolina and the state of Georgia well since most of Clemson and Georgia recruits come from various parts of the country. He will also need to recruit the Tar Heel state from a resurgent North Carolina program and places like Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Junior College ranks to go along with it. As for the roster, it’s paramount that Beamer needs to keep as much of the young talent intact and utilize the NCAA transfer portal in the event that some players do decide to transfer. For coaching, Beamer will need to act as the “CEO” of his program and let whoever he hires as his assistant coaches and coordinators coach. If Beamer can attain these things for his program, it’s certainly possible that Beamer can put his vision for South Carolina to where he wants it to be.