South Carolina Football: Gamecock coaching staff ranked on bottom of SEC

National college football pundit Josh Pate has ranked the South Carolina football coaching staff in the bottom tier of the Southeastern Conference.

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer / David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 version of the South Carolina football team had a bad season as the Gamecocks finished 5-7 and missed a bowl game for the first time during the Shane Beamer era in Columbia. Thanks to the worst rushing attack in school history and poor offensive line play (obviously a related issue), the offense underwhelmed. The defense was horrendous all season until a strong finish.

After the season ended, Coach Beamer's staff began to change a bit after Marquel Blackwell replaced Montario Hardesty as the running backs coach, Shawn Elliott replaced Jody Wright/Justin Stepp as the tight ends coach (and will be the run game coordinator), Mike Furrey replaced Justin Stepp/James Coley as the wide receivers coach, and Joe DeCamillis replaced Pete Lembo as the special teams coordinator.

Fans of the garnet and black are hopeful that the new blood on the coaching staff will improve the program and allow the Gamecocks to reach the point of relevancy in the SEC that they seemed so close to attaining after a strong finish to the 2022 season.

But just how good is Beamer's new-look staff in Columbia?

Prominent college football pundit Josh Pate (Late Kick with Josh Pate) sought to grade the coaching staffs around the Southeastern Conference. The exercise attempted to remove as many personal biases and create a grading scale based on "lifeless, emotionless grading criteria."

In this grading scale, head coaching grades counted the most for the staff, naturally followed by coordinators, and then by other assistants. Some staffs (like Missouri and Tennessee) received bumps in the rankings because of a highly-respected head coach and strong staff experience. Other staffs (like Florida) were boosted by a strong group of assistants despite major questions at head coach and coordinators. Some (like Mississippi State) were dinged for general inexperience.

The grading model heavily weighs experience and staff retention/turnover to go along with obvious success, though, several of Pate's top-rated staffs have plenty of new hires on them. Pate did not grade 1-16 (Yes, 16. Oklahoma and Texas are part of the equation now.); instead, he put the 16 coaching staffs into 4 tiers.

South Carolina football fans might not be too happy about their favorite team's place in the rankings as the Gamecock staff slotted into Pate's fourth (and lowest) tier.

Pate pointed out that the Gamecocks have the least experienced staff in the SEC (in terms of college football games coached). In doing so, he presented a bit of a caveat behind USC's place on the 4th tier. "It could be a really good staff...or [Shane Beamer] could have the worst staff in the SEC."

The model is not a predictive one, so coaches in the early stages of their college football career (Dowell Loggains, 2nd year as OC; Sterling Lucas, 3rd year in college football; Joe DeCamillis, 1st year as on-field coach in college football; Travian Robertson, 2nd year in Power-5) are not graded on what they might become but based on what they have shown thus far.

Gamecock fans are hopeful that the "on paper upgrades" on the staff show up on the field, but ultimately, how good Shane Beamer's staff truly is will be revealed when toe meets leather this fall.

Pate's full coaching staff tiers can be seen below (with no particular order within tiers):


Alabama Crimson Tide
Georgia Bulldogs
Ole Miss Rebels
Auburn Tigers


LSU Tigers
Missouri Tigers
Tennessee Volunteers
Texas Longhorns


Texas A&M Aggies
Oklahoma Sooners
Kentucky Wildcats
Florida Gators


South Carolina Gamecocks
Vanderbilt Commodores
Arkansas Razorbacks
Mississippi State Bulldogs

You can watch Pate's entire segment below.

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