South Carolina plans to hire the new head football coach by Dec. 16, Athletic Director Ray Tanner said in a press conference on Monday. He said the goal is to hire by the start of the early signing period but that “sometimes you don’t hit all your goals.”
After his firing Sunday night, Will Muschamp's usual teleconference was cancelled and a press conference with Tanner, interim head coach Mike Bobo, and three senior and graduate student-athletes was held Monday morning.
Tanner opened the press conference by saying that the next head coach will inherit a "very good situation" citing the "culture that he [Muschamp] created in a short period of time" at South Carolina. He went on to say that the personal relationship he'd built with Muschamp over the last five years made yesterday's decision to fire him "even more difficult than maybe some circumstances would be."
Tanner added that as difficult as Sunday was, there are "certainly a lot of bright spots" in the football program that has "Coach Muschamp's fingerprints on them."
Bobo started his time on the podium echoing Tanner's praise for Muschamp, saying "Will is the main reason that I chose South Carolina," adding that it wasn't just because of the type of coach Muschamp is, but also "the type of man he is." He continued to praise Muschamp saying "we lost our coach, we lost our leader, and a lot of us coaches lost a friend and a father figure to a lot of those players."
Going forward as interim head coach, Bobo said, "my job sitting here today is to get this team ready to go this Saturday," adding that his message to the team is "showing these kids how you respond to adversity, that you gotta get up and you gotta go to work."
In terms of staff reassignments, Bobo said that former South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw would be added as a 10th coach to "help out in the quarterback room" to take the quarterback coach job off of Bobo's plate now that he is in the head coach position.
Bobo acknowledged that this year has been a tough one for the team with COVID-19 and scheduling and that the firing of Muschamp added to it.
"This isn't an ideal situation, but we still have a job to do," Bobo said.
Redshirt senior defensive lineman Jabari Ellis, graduate fullback Adam Prentice and graduate quarterback Collin Hill all spoke to the media after Tanner and Bobo and talked about the players' meeting that took place with Muschamp Sunday night.
Ellis said that the news of Muschamp's firing "hurt" but that the team is already looking towards the rest of the season.
"It's life, you know, it is what is," Ellis said.
Prentice said when he got the text about the players' meeting Sunday night that he wasn't sure if Muschamp was going to be fired, saying "you kinda think that you know, maybe that's whats going to happen." Prentice added that he'd "gotten that text before."
Hill said the meeting was "emotional" and that everyone on the team took Sunday and Monday "to process." Hill added that he is "extremely grateful" for Muschamp for giving him an opportunity and "[taking] a chance on me... not a lot of people would've done that."
Bobo will speak to media again Tuesday regarding preparation for Saturday's Missouri game.