South Carolina moving quickly to replace Will Muschamp

South Carolina didn’t ride out the season with Will Muschamp as the coach, and they’re moving quickly to replace him.

Despite a buyout that seemed to give him ample job security, Will Muschamp was fired as South Carolina football coach in mid-November. The move provided a head start to the search for a new coach, and according to Football Scoop the search is nearing a finish with Sunday as their targeted date for completion.

A wide net has been cast in the search to replace Muschamp, from former NFL head coaches, young up-and-comers to the token “mystery candidate”. But two candidates have emerged as the favorites — Oklahoma associate head coach Shane Beamer and Louisiana head coach Billy Napier.  Brandon Marcello of 247 Sports has also mentioned Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson as a name to watch. Marcello also reported Napier was expected to speak with South Carolina brass late this week.

Three other current head coaches — Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell, Louisville Scott Satterfield and West Virginia’s Neal Brown, have also been tied to the South Carolina job. Satterfield was formerly the head coach at Appalachian State and Brown was the head coach at Troy before each took their current jobs. Both have had to address South Carolina speculation, and Satterfield has most staunchly denied he’s a candidate when a report he would interview surfaced. This is where I remind you that Nick Saban said he would not be the next head coach at Alabama, before taking the job shortly after.

South Carolina moving quickly to replace Muschamp

With early signing day coming on Dec. 16, it makes sense for South Carolina to want a new head coach in place in time to possibly impact the 2021 recruiting class. Right now, 247 Sports has the Gamecocks’ 2021 class ranked 90th in the country (last in the SEC) with 10 commits.

There’s an argument to be made that South Carolina is rushing their coaching search. But it’s already getting toward a month since Muschamp was let go. Right or wrong, some background work on candidates to replace him was surely being done before that.

Time will tell if the right guy was hired, be it Beamer, Napier or someone else. But the speed South Carolina is moving with, as they’ve reportedly considered a wide swath of candidates, should be commended not criticized.