In one of the most unexpected moves of the college football season, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier has decided to hang up his visor for good. He announced late Monday night that he would be retiring and that it would be effective immediately.
As the school moves forward with an interim coach to be named Wednesday, we take a look at who could possibly replace the legendary coach in Columbia.
Here are five potential replacements that could do very well with the Gamecocks in the future.
5. Justin Fuente
Fuente is the mid-major coach just waiting to take the next step into a big position. He led the Memphis Tigers to a 10-3 record and a share of the American Athletic championship in 2014 and has his team at 5-0 this year.
He is also the offensive mind that not only the Gamecocks need, but the entire SEC needs to liven things up in a conference dominated by defense. Fuente has also developed some terrific talents in Memphis, like quarterback Paxton Lynch, and that fact could really sway the Gamecocks into calling his number.
4. Al Golden
Golden’s seat is only going to get hotter down in Miami, so it’s likely his time is up there. South Carolina would be a perfect fit for Golden, simply because he also has a mind for big offenses.
He is just as outspoken as Spurrier and he could fit in nicely for the Gamecocks.
Also, his ties to both the Northeast from his days at Temple and the talent in South Florida would benefit South Carolina greatly.
3. Shawn Elliott
I wouldn’t be surprised if Elliott is named the interim coach come tomorrow. He has worked under Spurrier for six seasons as the offensive coordinator and nobody else knows it better than him.
All too often do teams name coordinators head coaches after an abrupt departure and they fail. However, Elliott has an advantage after working under Spurrier for so long.
2. Kirby Smart
All these offensive minds on this list made things seem a little biased. So, I brought in a defensive mind. If you are going to talk about a defensive-minded coach that deserves a head coaching job, it’s Alabama’s defensive coordinator.
Smart has an impeccable record under Nick Saban, so it would be fun to see his defense at work for another SEC school.
Smart would turn things around in Columbia and make them the power they were just three seasons ago.
1. Sean Payton
Let’s face it: Sean Payton’s time is up with the New Orleans Saints. This is the most unlikely name on the list as he has already shown interest in the job with the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins.
Payton would be the perfect fit for the Gamecocks, however.
Bringing in an established coach with a mind for offense would be the best thing for South Carolina and Payton would be a huge get for the Gamecocks.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports