The Daily Gamecock

Beamer names seven coaches to initial 2021 coaching staff

<p>Head coach Shane Beamer speaks to a crowd outside the football practice facility in December of 2020.&nbsp;</p>

Head coach Shane Beamer speaks to a crowd outside the football practice facility in December of 2020. 

South Carolina head football coach Shane Beamer announced seven positions of his 2021 coaching staff on Sunday afternoon.

Three of the seven coaches are new to the program, while four are retained from the previous coaching staff. 

Mike Bobo will be returning next season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Beamer's staff. Running backs coach Des Kitchings, outside linebackers coach Mike Peterson and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker will also be returning to the staff. 

"After much thought and many conversations with the players on our team," Beamer said in an interview with Gamecocks Online that he "knew that Coach Bobo, Coach Kitchings, Coach Peterson and Coach Rocker would be excellent additions to this new staff."

Connor Shaw will also return to the program for the 2021 season in a yet to be determined off the field role. Beamer said he was excited to bring Shaw back.

"He loves this school and this program. Connor is committed to helping our players succeed and reach their full potential," Beamer said.

Will Friend has been tapped as the new offensive line coach for the upcoming season. Friend is leaving SEC East rival Tennessee to come to South Carolina, and he also coached alongside Bobo at Colorado State from 2015 to 2017.

"[Friend] knows what it takes to compete in the SEC and brings a drive and energy that we want on our staff," Beamer said.

Beamer named Erik Kimrey as the new tight ends coach. Kimrey, a former Gamecock quarterback, has spent the last 17 years as the head football coach at Hammond School, which is a K-12 school in Columbia. He won 12 South Carolina Independent School Association state championships in his 17 years there.

Beamer said Kimrey has an "astute offensive football mind" and "connects well with his players."

Pete Lembo will join the coaching staff as the Gamecocks' associate head coach and special teams coordinator. Lembo has spent the last two seasons at the University of Memphis as an assistant head coach and special teams coordinator. 

"[Lembo's] football IQ is outstanding," Beamer said. "[A]s a special teams coordinator, his units contributed greatly to the team's overall success."