According to Bruce Feldman of SI.com, South Carolina co-offensive coordinator Kurt Roper is in play to be the next head coach at Rice.
On Monday morning, Feldman wrote that Rice was parting ways with coach David Bailiff, who’s been the Owls head coach since 2007.
SOURCES: David Bailiff is out at #Rice..I'm told #Stanford coordinators Mike Bloomgren & Lance Anderson both will be strong candidates for the #Rice vacancy. #SouthCarolina OC Kurt Roper, a former #Owls player, also in play: https://t.co/DqEQ1dR2LL
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 27, 2017
Roper, a Rice graduate, has spent the last two seasons as South Carolina’s play-caller. Hired by coach Will Muschamp in January of 2016, Roper came to Columbia after a stint as an offensive assistant coach for the Cleveland Browns.
Before his time in the NFL, he served one season under Muschamp as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Florida. Roper, who also coaches South Carolina’s quarterbacks, has a coaching resume that also includes stops at Tennessee, Ole Miss and Duke.
This season, the Gamecocks offense has averaged 340.2 yards per contest, which ranks 108th in the country. Their 24.1 points per game is 98th.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley has completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,555 yards with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also leads the team with 6 rushing touchdowns.
Feldman wrote that Stanford defensive coordinator Lance Anderson and offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren are among the names to watch at Rice.
Roper was a three-year letterman for the Owls as a quarterback and defensive back.