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South Carolina Hires Linebackers and Special Teams Coaches

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As you've probably heard by now, South Carolina has made two coaching hires: we've hired Keith Botkin to coach linebackers and Joe Robinson to coach special teams. I'm very pleased with these hires; let's talk about Robinson first. The main drawback with Robinson is that he is not strong on the recruiting trail. Otherwise, he's excellent. He was at North Carolina last year and LSU the previous three years, and while at LSU he routinely fielded kickoff and punting units that were among the nation's best. The important thing with this hire, I think, was finding someone who can coach up our special teams units and eliminate the leaky kicking and coverage schemes that have plagued Carolina for so long. We have many great recruiters on staff, so I see his deficiencies in recruiting as being a minor concern here.

That's particularly true considering that Botkin is reportedly a solid recruiter. Botkin's experience includes serving on the defensive coaching staffs most recently at a Texas high school and previously at Arkansas. He's less experienced than one might like here, and he doesn't have a lot of experience working directly with linebackers, but he has SEC experience and has recruiting ties in Texas. I don't like this hire quite as much as the Robinson selection, but I'm not against it. I think Botkin is a guy who can help us.

I would expect an announcement soon regarding our selection for the runningbacks position.