South Carolina has fired head football coach Will Muschamp midway through his fifth season with the program. The move comes on the heels of the team’s 59-42 loss to Ole Miss, their third straight loss, dropping the Gamecocks to 2-5 on the year. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will take over as head coach on an interim basis.
“After a thorough assessment of our football program, we have decided to make a change with the head football coach,” Athletics Director Ray Tanner said in a statement. “I appreciate all that Will Muschamp has done for our program and wish him and his family the best moving forward. I believe our program will be well served by Coach Bobo as the interim head coach as we search for a new leader for Gamecock Football.”
“I appreciate everything Coach Muschamp has done for our University. He is a true professional and strong advocate for our student-athletes,” said school president Bob Caslen. “Under his leadership, our football players excelled in the classroom and served as mentors in the community. Will also brought much-needed stability to the program. However, I believe it is time to move in a different direction.”
Where There’s a Will, There’s No Way
Muschamp had compiled a 28-30 overall record in his time in Columbia after becoming the only coach to lead the program to a bowl game in his first three seasons, including an Outback Bowl victory in the 2017 season over Michigan. The Wolverines, ironically, face leadership and coaching questions in their own right, having started the season 1-3 and coming off a 49-11 defeat at the hands of Wisconsin.
Muschamp and the Gamecocks pulled off a big win over then 15th- ranked Auburn on October 17 but followed that with blowout losses to LSU, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss this past Saturday, losing those three by a combined 90 points.
The school says the search for a new coach will start right away.
“We will begin a search immediately to find the best head coach for Carolina football,” said Tanner. “We have great facilities, a passionate fan base, a University that is committed to excellence in football and a support system that is second to none in developing student-athletes. We will be looking for someone with the energy, commitment and organizational skills that can move our program to a championship level."
”Our search for a new head football coach begins today, and I have every confidence that Coach Tanner will find the right person to lead our program," added Caslen. “A vibrant athletics program is integral to the college experience. I know how much football means to our students, faculty, alumni, and donors; I share that passion. Our priority remains winning a championship at the University of South Carolina.”
Muschamp was hired before the 2016 season, replacing Shawn Elliott, who had been named the interim head coach when Steve Spurrier retired the previous season.
Muschamp won’t be leaving empty-handed, however, as the buyout in his contract will earn him $13 million. He also received a flood of support from past alum and current staff and players on social media throughout the weekend.