Top Candidates For Gamecocks Offensive And Defensive Coordinator

In truth, nobody really knows who the next coordinators will be. Shane Beamer himself might not know at this point.

Beamer has done an outstanding job of keeping his coaching searches as quiet as possible since he was hired as the new head football coach.

However, there have been a few names tossed around as potential replacements for both sides of the ball, and there are reportedly a lot of interested candidates who are currently Power 5 coordinators.

Let’s take a look at some of the names that have been floating around recently. 

Offensive Coordinator 

Garrett Riley

Coach Beamer has made it clear that he wants to implement an offense similar to what is run at Oklahoma, and Garrett Riley might check that box better than any other candidate.

Garrett is the younger brother of Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley, and Garrett is currently the offensive coordinator at SMU. It is his first season as a coordinator at the FBS level, and that is the biggest cause for any pushback against Riley, but he has done an outstanding job so far at SMU.

Riley’s offense at SMU is averaging 495 yards per game and 38.6 points per game, which are both Top 15 in the nation.

Riley, in my opinion, would be a great hire for Shane Beamer and South Carolina. He runs the type of offense that is not only what Beamer wants to run, but is also attractive to recruits and is capable of putting up massive numbers any given day. 

Mike Bobo

All South Carolina fans are familiar with Mike Bobo, as he was the play caller for the Gamecocks offense this past season.

Although there is nothing set in stone just yet, there are reports that Mike Bobo could actually have a better chance of staying in Columbia than a lot of people would expect. It is possible that Bobo and Riley end up in some sort of Co-OC role, possibly where Bobo is the running game coordinator and Riley is in charge of passing plays.

While that seems like it could work on the surface, I would not be surprised if the offensive staff ends up butting heads weekly if this becomes the case. Bobo’s offensive philosophy has never been in tune with the type of stuff that Beamer wants to run, and the stuff that Riley does run.

No matter the situation, I think retaining Bobo would be a mistake, and I think that most Gamecock fans can agree on that. 

Kendal Briles

Briles is certainly more of a longshot, but he would be a splash hire for Shane Beamer if it happens.

Briles is the son of the successful but controversial former Baylor coach Art Briles. Both Kendal and his father are incredible offensive minds, and Kendal has had success at every stop he’s made.

Kendal has been somewhat of a nomad as a playcaller, as he has called plays at four different FBS schools in the past four seasons. He is currently the OC at Arkansas, where he seems to be happy and is making great money for a coordinator.

It would take a great deal of convincing and a big contract to have a chance at pulling him away from the Razorbacks, but it definitely cant be ruled out just yet.

Briles work with Arkansas is very impressive. The Razorbacks are currently 8th in the SEC in total offense after ranking 13th and 14th in the two seasons prior to his arrival. 

Defensive Coordinator

Jay Bateman

Bateman’s name started floating around very shortly after Shane Beamer was hired, and he still seems to be one of the top candidates for the job.

Bateman is currently the defensive coordinator at North Carolina and has a great track record as a defensive coordinator. Prior to joining Mack Brown’s staff, Bateman was the coordinator at Army where guided multiple Top 10 total defenses.

Bateman is also highly regarded as a recruiter, and he has already landed a handful of blue-chip recruits in his short time in Chapel Hill.

This hire would also be seen as a splash hire for Shane Beamer, and it would send a message to a lot of recruits in the southeast region.

It would especially be a statement in the state of North Carolina, where the Tar Heels have started to have a ton of momentum on the recruiting trail. 

Jon Heacock

Heacock’s name is one that has been mentioned as much as anyones other than Jay Bateman.

Heacock is currently the defensive coordinator at Iowa State, who is quietly having a very good season both defensively and overall. Heacock’s defense is only allowing 21.3 points per game, which is good for second best in the Big 12. He has also had top 3 scoring defenses in each season from 2017-19, so this season is not just a fluke.

These numbers are especially impressive considering the caliber of offense in that conference. Heacock hasn’t made a huge impact on the recruiting trail at Iowa State, but it remains to be seen what he can do when he has elite facilities and an SEC school to sell to recruits.

In my opinion, Heacock would also be a great hire for Shane Beamer, and he could probably make an instant impact for the defensive unit.


No matter who the coordinators end up being, Gamecock fans should trust Shane Beamer to make the decision on who to hire. Beamer is taking his time making these decisions by design, and he knows how important these first hires will be for both his future and the future of the program in general.

Based off of the names that have been floating around, there really isn’t a bad candidate on the board. Fortunately, the wait should be almost over for fans, and announcements might be made on the new coaches sometime next week.

Until then, we can only wait patiently and hope for the best.

Leave a Reply