COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina has made it official, hiring ex-assistant Shane Beamer as its head football coach.
Beamer, 43, came to campus on Sunday alongside athletic director Ray Tanner and was introduced to the team after spending the past three seasons as assistant head coach and tight ends coach at Oklahoma.
The son of longtime Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer takes over for Will Muschamp, who was fired last month with three games left in the season.
The Gamecocks (2-8) finished their season with a sixth consecutive loss, 41-18 at Kentucky on Saturday. Soon after that, word spread that Beamer was South Carolina’s choice to replace Muschamp.
Tanner, the AD since 2012, called Beamer the “perfect fit” to lead the Gamecocks, who have gone 6-16 overall and 5-15 in the Southeastern Conference the past two seasons.
“I believe Shane’s energy, enthusiasm, commitment and fondness for our school and program will be met favorably by our student-athletes, staff and fans,” Tanner said in a statement.
Beamer spent four seasons as a South Carolina assistant under Steve Spurrier from 2007-10. He served as recruiting coordinator his final three seasons, helping fashion teams that won the SEC East Division in 2010 and went 11-2 each year from 2011-13.
Beamer also worked for his father at Virginia Tech, Kirby Smart at Georgia and, for the past three seasons, Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma. With the Sooners, Beamer worked with teams that have made the past three College Football Playoffs.
Beamer, who was born in Charleston, said he was happy to be home upon entering the $50 million football operations building that was a pie-in-the-sky dream when he left after the 2010 season.
Now, he has got the resources of an SEC program as he tries to get back to winning like the Gamecocks did when he was here a decade ago.
“I have been preparing for this moment my entire life,” Beamer said. “I am ready and excited” to lead the Gamecocks.
Tanner said he, university President Robert Caslen and athletic administrator Chance Miller talked to several qualified and talented coaches. But “Shane’s candidacy set the bar high,” he said.
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