The Auburn job opening up has officially thrown a wrench into the South Carolina Gamecocks’ own staff building process, as the Tigers successfully hired away offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and freshly installed offensive line coach Will Friend, as first reported by Football Scoop.
Bobo’s retention was a controversial matter among the Gamecock faithful, but some were warming up to it from the perspective of having some continuity for the players — and willing to give Bobo another chance under a new head coach, since schematically, the offense had some promise last year. Others, though, were upset that Shane Beamer had decided to roll with him, preferring instead that South Carolina make a fresh start from the Will Muschamp era.
Well, folks, be careful what you wish for — Auburn’s Bryan Harsin has now put the Gamecocks in a bit of a bind, as the candidate pool for assistants is steadily shrinking while other programs complete their staffs. Friend, who was just brought to Columbia from Tennessee, is bolting as well, though that isn’t terribly shocking given his previous coaching relationship with Bobo.
To add insult to injury, Derek Mason — who was at one time a strong candidate to fill South Carolina’s defensive coordinator position — was also hired by Auburn.
South Carolina’s board of trustees approved the current coaches’ contracts just last week, with Bobo set to make $1.2 million and Friend at $700,000.
New coach Shane Beamer already had his work cut out for him, but the going certainly got tougher with these moves. We’ll see what he can come up with for the now four open positions on South Carolina’s staff.