The University of South Carolina board of trustees approved the contract of newly-hired running backs coach Marquel Blackwell during its meeting on Friday.
The decision marks the South Carolina football team's second coaching change of the offseason after James Coley was named the team's wide receivers coach on Jan. 12.
Blackwell will earn a base salary of $975,000 during his two-year contract — $400,000 during the 2024 season and $575,000 in 2025. He will also have the opportunity to earn up to $115,000 in bonuses if certain performance-based incentives are met, such as winning the SEC Championship Game or the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Blackwell brings three seasons of SEC experience to the Gamecocks, most recently in the 2022 and 2023 seasons as the running backs coach at Ole Miss and Texas A&M, respectively. Before joining the Rebels, Blackwell spent three seasons as a co-offensive coordinator at Houston coaching quarterbacks and running backs.
Blackwell's hire is another step in revamping a backfield that ranked last in the SEC in rushing yards per game last season. This offseason, former running backs coach Montario Hardesty and three running backs — redshirt senior Mario Anderson, sixth-year Dakereon Joyner and freshman Kamron Sandlin — departed the program.
The team has since added three running backs from the transfer portal — junior Raheim "Rocket" Sanders (from Arkansas), junior Oscar Adaway III (North Texas) and freshman Jawarn Howell (South Carolina State) — as well as incoming freshman Matthew Fuller to its roster.