The University of South Carolina Gamecocks football team is in search of a offensive coordinator after the departure of Kurt Roper. Enter Bryan McClendon as he has a job interview during the Outback Bowl. Is he the right hire for South Carolina football?
Here are three reasons to hire him:
- He knows the Gamecocks system. McClendon has been with Coach Muschamp since the beginning of the tenure at USC and served as the co-offensive coordinator and position coach of the wide receiving corps. He currently serves as the interim offensive coordinator. He knows the offensive side of the ball and its’ players. I would stop short of calling it his system as I feel his style of play is different than what we saw out of former Coach Roper’s offense. From what is known, McClendon is more up-tempo and more into the style of play you see across the CFB landscape.
- He has the background and lives football. He is the son of former Georgia tailback Willie McClendon, 1978 SEC Player of the Year and running back for the Chicago Bears. After a great high school career, he attended Georgia (2002-2005) where he was part of a class that won 44 games, not to mention the SEC East a few times. He later joined the coaching staff at UGa and held the following titles: grad assistant, recruiting coordinator, running backs coach, receivers coach, assistant head coach, passing game coordinator and he was named interim head coach of the Bulldogs on Dec. 3, 2015, and served in that capacity through Georgia’s appearance in the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl, a 24-17 win over Penn State.
- The players like him and respond to him. In coaching it is about respect, trust and motivation. Bryan McClendon has all three with the Gamecocks football program. I read this article and found this quote very telling – “I think it’s just bringing a sense of confidence,” first-team All-SEC TE Hayden Hurst said. “Like I’ve kind of told y’all guys, we’ve been searching for an identity for a while. Having B-Mac come in with his confidence and Coach Bentley adding to that too, I think it’s gonna be good for us.” Since Roper left, it is like the team is more positive and that is what you want to see, hear and have.
So there are the three reasons to hire him, is it enough? I feel at the end of the day what gets McClendon the job is how the team performs versus Michigan. I don’t think it is a “you win, you get the job” type situation but the team must show a lot of positives and they must score points. If that happens, then I think Muschamp takes the chance on the young coach.