South Carolina Football: Ranking the worst coaches in Gamecock history

South Carolina football. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
South Carolina football. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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South Carolina football fans have seen good years, and South Carolina football fans have seen…well…not so good years. The Carolina Faithful have witnessed the greatness of the teams led by Steve Spurrier and Joe Morrison, but other times in Gamecock football history have not been quite so fun to watch.

Some say that it is the difficult times in South Carolina’s history that has shaped the fanbase into one of college football’s best. Perphaps. However, even if that is true, it doesn’t make those years any easier to accept. With that thought in mind, which Gamecock head coaches were the worst to ever lead the South Carolina football team?

Honorable Mention

Christie Bennett, Rice Warren, Harry Lightsey, Doc Newton, and Johnnie McMillan: Christie Bennett (1909), Rice Warren (1916), Harry Lightsey (1927), Doc Newton (1944), and Johnnie McMillan (1945) all coached the Gamecocks for one season during or prior to World War II and led South Carolina football to a losing record.

John Neff and Dixon Foster: Two seasons without a winning record was all that both John Neff (1910-1911) and Dixon Foster (1917, 1919) could bring to the table as the head coach of the South Carolina football program.

Don McCallister: Don McCallister (1935-1937) never won more than two games in the Southern Conference in his three seasons leading the Gamecocks. The majority of McCallister’s wins (and some of his losses) came against non-major Division-1 competition, including a two-touchdown loss to Division-III Catholic College.

Will Muschamp: Putting Will Muschamp (2016-2020) here probably isn’t fair. After all, through his first three seasons, Muschamp had the most wins ever in a head coach’s first three years with the Gamecocks. However, though Muschamp was a good football coach, he proved again (just like at Florida), that he was not a good head coach. The good start ultimately did not matter much as the way things ended in Columbia puts the University of Georgia graduate on this list.

The culture around the South Carolina football team was downright toxic at the end of the Muschamp era as players’ primary concerns were whether or not they could make it to the NFL. Winning was an afterthought, and the results on the field showed it. As the culture degraded, so did the win-loss record. After a nice 9-win campaign in 2017, the Gamecocks’ win total dropped by at least every season from 9 to 7 to 4 to 2.