Will Muschamp planned to hire an offensive line coach before Jan. 12, and it looks like South Carolina has locked in on San Francisco 49ers coach Eric Wolford.
According to reports, Wolford is expected to join the Gamecocks staff as offensive line coach.
Here’s 5 things to know about the potential replacement for Shawn Elliott:
1. Return to Columbia
Wolford is coming for his second stint as the South Carolina offensive line coach. He held the role in 2009 for one season before departing to take the head coaching position at Youngstown State.
During his one season in Columbia, the Gamecocks finished last in the SEC with 121.2 yards rushing per game, but improved from 94.1 the year before he arrived.
2. Off-the-field focus
Wolford and his wife, Melinda, do extensive work with a non-profit foundation they started called No Stone Unturned Foundation. The couple has a son, Stone, who was diagnosed with a genetic condition called Cardio-Facio-Cutaneous-Syndrome and they established the foundation to be “dedicated to the support and research of children with health initiatives and/or disabilities and their families.”
3. Stay, said Spurrier
Wolford was at South Carolina for just one season, as mentioned above. And when he bolted for the head coaching spot at Youngstown State, Steve Spurrier was against the move and hoped to keep Wolford at South Carolina, according to reports at the time.
“If it’s a good decision, time will tell,” Spurrier said. “I didn’t think it was the right decision for him right now.”
Wolford was at the helm at Youngstown State from 2010-14, during which the Penguins broke 32 school records.
Wolford wasn’t around long enough in Columbia to coach the 6-man offensive line class brought in during the 2010 cycle, but it turned out to be a pretty good one.
A.J. Cann, Corey Robinson, Cody Gibson, Ronald Patrick, Du’Von Millsap and Tramell Williams all arrived in that class. Cann and Robinson went on to be NFL draft picks, as Cann has had a promising start to his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars since they made him their third-round pick in the 2015 draft.
5. Never made it to Stillwater
After being fired at Youngstown State, Wolford was hired as an offensive coach at Oklahoma State on Jan. 8, 2015, but never coached for the Cowboys.
Instead, on Jan. 17, 2015, Wolford was hired by the 49ers, changing course and heading for the Bay Area.