South Carolina Football: Ranking the top Gamecock head coaches of all-time

A list of the greatest head coaches in the history of the South Carolina football program

Legendary coach Lou Holtz coached several stout defenses during his time in Columbia.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Chapman-USA TODAY Sports(©) Copyright 2004 by Paul Chapman
Legendary coach Lou Holtz coached several stout defenses during his time in Columbia.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Chapman-USA TODAY Sports(©) Copyright 2004 by Paul Chapman /
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South Carolina Football’s No. 5 Greatest Head Coach of All-Time:
Paul Dietzel

After successful stints with LSU and Army, Paul Dietzel (1966-1974) was hired as the head coach of South Carolina football and the school’s athletics director. Dietzel coached the Gamecocks for 9 seasons and led the team to its only conference championship, an ACC crown in 1969. Despite winning seven games twice and taking the Gamecocks to their 2nd and 3rd bowl games ever, Dietzel did not win as much with Carolina as he did with LSU and Army.

The national championship-winning coach (LSU) also innovated regular substitutions. In an era in which players routinely played both ways, Dietzel played most of his players on one side of the ball for the majority of the game. His work revolutionized the sport and changed it forever.

Dietzel ended up with a lackluster overall record of 42-53-1, but his conference championship win and contributions off-the-field as the athletics director make him a legend in Columbia. Like Rex Enright, Dietzel has multiple football-related awards named after him at the University of South Carolina.