South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp named wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon as the full-time offensive coordinator during a press conference Friday morning. McClendon will also continue to coach the wide receivers.
"I don't see this as a gamble at all. I see this as a very sure, good decision for our program," Muschamp said. "There's no question that Bryan was the guy."
The Gamecocks fired Kurt Roper after the the loss against Clemson, promoting McClendon to interim offensive coordinator for the Outback Bowl. Muschamp said after the 26-19 win over Michigan that he was pleased with McClendon's play calling and adjustments he made during the game. His quick-tempo play calling was something that Muschamp was very pleased with and wants to continue to see grow.
"I thought Bryan McClendon did an outstanding job preparing our football team offensively," Muschamp said after the bowl game. "The entire offensive staff made a lot of adjustments at halftime on some things that we felt like we could take advantage of."
McClendon has spent the past two years under Muschamp coaching the wide receivers and Muschamp liked what he's been able to do. After his performance in the bowl game, Muschamp knew what he wanted to do as far as his offensive coordinator.
"In [McClendon's] two years here, he's been outstanding," Muschamp said. "The command that he had with our staff, with our players was outstanding, the leadership ability that he has as a coordinator and a future head coach is obvious to me."
In Friday's press conference, McClendon expressed how excited he is to stay at South Carolina and the future of this program.
"It's all just a buy-in to everything we have going on here at South Carolina," McClendon said. "On offense we want to lead the country in effort, toughness and discipline."
Due to mid-year enrollees, Muschamp said the Gamecocks will have all of their offense at spring practices, which will give McClendon a good look at what he has to work with. Muschamp noted that Deebo Samuel will be back healthy for the spring.
Muschamp also announced some other coaching news during his press conference. He named current Alabama offensive analyst Dan Werner as the new quarterbacks coach. Muschamp said Werner will be with Alabama during the National Championship Game and will come to Columbia on Jan. 10. Before going to Alabama, Werner spent five years at Ole Miss serving as their co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Werner's experience will be important to McClendon as he tackles this new role.
Muschamp also stated that Bobby Bentley will return to coaching running backs. Bentley served as interim quarterback coach during the bowl game, but will go back to his normal position this season.
With all of the moves, Muschamp is excited for the future and ready to see what his new staff can do.
"I'm excited about our room," Muschamp said. "I got great belief in Bryan and our entire offensive staff."