Former South Carolina football coach takes new job with SEC rival

Former South Carolina football offensive line coach Eric Wolford has taken the offensive line coaching job with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Former South Carolina football assistant coach Eric Wolford
Former South Carolina football assistant coach Eric Wolford / Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina football coaching staff has undergone a fair amount of turnover this offseason.

Head coach Shane Beamer fired running backs coach Montario Hardesty and hired Marquel Blackwell to take over the position. Tight ends coach Jody Wright left to take the head coaching job at Murray State, and special teams coordinator/associate head coach Pete Lembo became the headman at the University of Buffalo. Beamer shifted wide receivers coach Justin Stepp to tight ends and hired James Coley to coach the team's wide receivers. The Gamecocks are still looking for Lembo's replacement. Off-the-field assistant Tyler Zielenske joined Wright at Murray State.

Even some former Gamecock coaches have moved to new jobs since the 2023 season has ended. Former head coach Will Muschamp left his defensive coordinator position with the Georgia Bulldogs to take a job off the field with the team, and former Gamecock DC Travaris Robinson is now the Co-DC with the Bulldogs, taking Muschamp's old job. LSU defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey (who coached at Carolina for two seasons in the same role) was fired earlier this offseason.

Now, another former South Carolina football assistant is on the move.

Eric Wolford, who was the Gamecocks' offensive line coach in 2009 and again from 2017-2020, was not retained with the Alabama Crimson Tide when Kalen DeBoer took over for the retired Nick Saban, and on Thursday, he was announced as the new offensive line coach for the Kentucky Wildcats. This will be Wolford's second stint with the 'Cats as he coached in Lexington in 2021 after not being retained by Shane Beamer when he was hired as the head coach at South Carolina.

Wolford did a great job with the Gamecocks back in 2009 and signed some really good players to his unit as AJ Cann, Corey Robinson, Ronald Patrick, and Cody Gibson all joined the South Carolina football program after being recruited by Wolford.

The results weren't quite as good in Columbia during his second stint with Carolina under Will Muschamp, but he did a good enough job to get another SEC gig in 2021 and then to be hired by Alabama in 2022.

Now back with Kentucky for the 2024 season, Wolford will have the opportunity to play against his former team in the second game of the season on September 7th.

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