South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer is bringing in long-time SEC assistant James Coley to join the Gamecock coaching staff. With running backs coach Montario Hardesty being fired last week and tight ends coach Jody Wright taking the head coaching job at Murray State, those two positions are the only two known to be available for Coley to take.
However, according to a report from 247Sports' Brandon Marcello, Coley is expected to coach wide receivers for South Carolina football.
The Gamecocks already have a wide receivers coach in Justin Stepp. With no announcement that Stepp will be leaving the program, Marcello's report might be indicative of Stepp changing position rooms. He has coached wide receivers his entire career, so a move will mean a new job for Stepp. If Stepp is not changing positions and is, indeed, leaving the program, that means that the Gamecocks will still have two position coaches left to hire.
There have been rumors around the Gamecock ecosystem that Stepp could slide over to the tight ends job with USC. Nothing, though, has been confirmed about Stepp's next steps.
Coley brings experience to the Gamecocks as a guy who has coached at elite programs like Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida State, Miami, and LSU. He also spent some time with the Miami Dolphins. His best trait as a coach is his recruiting acumen, and he will be considered one of the best recruiters on the Gamecock staff as soon as his hire is official. The talent-rich South Florida area is viewed as Coley's specialty, something that should be music to South Carolina football fans' ears.
On Friday, according to the Post and Courier's David Cloninger, the University of South Carolina is expected to have a Board of Trustees meeting regarding "Approvement of Athletic Employment Contracts."
No, the Gamecocks will not be hiring the newly-retired Nick Saban to coach running backs, but Coley's contract (and role) are expected to be approved. If Stepp is moving to a new position, that likely will be addressed, too. It is unlikely, but another assistant coach (running backs coach) could be approved on Friday, as well, but there have been no official reports regarding that open role.