South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer relieved running backs coach Montario Hardesty of his duties last week after the Gamecocks put up their worst average rushing output per game in program history.
Now, it appears that Beamer has found a new assistant coach for his squad, though, it might not be at running backs coach.
According to a report from 247Sports' Matt Zenitz, long-time SEC assistant coach James Coley is expected to be accepting an assistant coaching job with the South Carolina football program.
Zenitz's report does not indicate what position Coley would take with the Gamecocks. It could be running backs, but if he were a simple replacement for Montario Hardesty, that likely would have been announced. The lack of details surrounding Coley's hire, instead, likely indicates more staff changes are coming.
GamecockCentral's Wes Mitchell reported on Wednesday morning that Gamecock tight end coach Jody Wright is expected to be named the next head coach at Murray State. This means that both the running backs coach and tight ends coach positions are open with James Coley expected to be inserted into the picture somewhere.
During an impressive career as an assistant coach, Coley has made stops at LSU, FIU, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, and Texas A&M in the college ranks and the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. He has coached quarterbacks, tight ends, and wide receivers at most of his stops. He has also been an offensive coordinator at times during his career.
Where Coley likely will most help the Gamecocks is in recruiting. He was named the lead recruiter on recruiting wins for 44 4-star and 5-star prospects (according to 247Sports) across his 16 years as a Power-5 assistant coach. In recent years, he landed a number of 5-star prospects like Shemar Stewart (5-star defensive lineman, Texas A&M), George Pickens (5-star wide receiver, Georgia), and Isaiah Wilson (5-star offensive lineman, Georgia).
More fallout from the coaching moves surely will come soon, but for now, Montario Hardesty has been fired, Jody Wright is expected to leave, and James Coley is expected to be hired.