South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer has been making moves with his coaching staff this offseason.
First, Beamer fired running backs coach Montario Hardesty after the Gamecocks had their lowest rushing yards per game production in program history. Next, news broke that long-time SEC assistant James Coley was headed to Columbia in an unspecified offensive assistant role. Tight ends coach Jody Wright then left to take the head coaching job at Murray State.
Shortly after Wright's departure, the new addition (Coley) was reported as the team's next wide receivers coach. There was a plan in place to move wide receivers coach Justin Stepp to the tight ends job. It didn't take long for word to come out that the Gamecocks were set to hire running backs coach Marquel Blackwell, as well.
Pete Lembo joined Jody Wright as Gamecock assistants leaving for head coaching duties as he took the head job at the University of Buffalo. After about a week, long-time special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis took Lembo's spot as the STC and associate head coach.
Now, another assistant coach is leaving.
Justin Stepp, who was one of the few remaining coaches from Beamer's first staff in Columbia, will not be coaching tight ends for the South Carolina football program, after all. Instead, Stepp is leaving to take the wide receiver job at Illinois.
The not-so-secret word around the team was that Stepp was not happy with being shifted to tight ends, and many in Columbia figured it would be a question of "when," not "if," Stepp left the program.
Heading up to Champagne, Illinois will mark Stepp's first venture out of the South. He will be reunited with offensive coordinator Barry Lunney who he worked with at Arkansas.
Now, for the fourth time this offseason, South Carolina football will be in the market for a new assistant coach.