South Carolina head football coach Shane Beamer was named the co-winner of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year award on Monday night. Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel joined Beamer in being named the nation’s best coaches in their first year at a school.
“Well there are two coaches this year because they are both deserving,” said Spurrier, who presented the award virtually. “Preseason, their teams were picked next to Vandy at the bottom of the league, 12 and 13, but instead of gloom and doom they took their players and improved every game.”
Beamer led the Gamecocks to a 7-6 record in his first season at the helm including a season-capping victory in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl over North Carolina. Four different quarterbacks started and won a game in a season that saw significant improvement from a 2-8 finish in the 2020 season with a largely similar team.
“It’s extremely important for coaches in their first year that they come in with no excuses,” added Spurrier.
Beamer is the second coach in program history to win the award, joining Spurrier who won it in 2005 in his first year with the Gamecocks.