The business of sports frequently includes personnel changes and staff shakeups, and the University of South Carolina is no different.
Over the past four years, football, baseball and men's soccer have had major coaching changes that will effect their respective programs for years to come.
Baseball made one of the biggest moves of the last four years in 2017 when Mark Kingston was hired as the team's head coach. He was slated to replace Chad Holbrook, who had missed the NCAA tournament twice in the past three seasons despite having two Super Regional appearances.
While the last full Gamecock baseball season featured the worst record since 1996, Kingston said in a press conference in February that he is optimistic for the future and "like(s) where we’re moving.”
With the 2020 season lost due to the coronavirus, 2021 will be Kingston's third full season at the helm for the Gamecocks.
Another major head coaching change is happening following the 2020 season for men’s soccer. Head coach Mark Berson has decided to retire after 42 seasons as head coach of the Gamecocks.
He preached “toughness” and “grit” on the soccer field after the Georgia Southern game on Oct. 8, helping to mold South Carolina men's soccer into the program that it is today.
As the first head coach in the program's history, Berson will go down in the record books as the winningest coach in South Carolina men's soccer history, amassing 514 wins throughout his career. He is just the fourth coach to eclipse the 500-win mark in NCAA history.
This graduating senior class is the first group to play solely for head coach Will Muschamp, who took over the head coaching job prior to the 2016 season. Throughout his four years at South Carolina, he has had two winning seasons, a bowl victory and several coaching changes.
Following a 2019 season filled with consistency and identity issues offensively, Mike Bobo was hired as offensive coordinator. Muschamp said in an interview with USC athletics that he believes he is a “proven and respected play-caller” and is the right person to build an offense around the young Gamecock quarterback Ryan Hilinski.
Muschamp also shook up the coaching staff for the 2020 season through the addition of Kyle Krantz as special teams coordinator and by changing the roles of both Bobby Bentley and Bryan McClendon, though keeping them on staff. Shortly after the staff shakeup, McClendon left for a coaching job at Oregon, and former NC State assistant Des Kitchings was hired to replace him.
The Gamecocks coaching staff also welcomed back two Gamecock football legends to the staff during this time. Former running back Marcus Lattimore was hired in 2018 as the director of player development and took on the role of mentoring players both on and off the field.
He filled this position for two seasons before stepping down recently, allowing former quarterback Connor Shaw to come onto the staff in the same position. Muschamp said he believes Shaw will be a "tremendous asset" to the team for the future.