COLUMBIA, SC - On Friday Will Muschamp made Bryan McClendon USC's offensive coordinator. With that move something that is very rare in college athletics happened. Muscamp's top two coordinators are African-American which is something you don't see at the FBS level.
Mclendon, the veteran receiver and running back coach, has a bowl win under his belt when he was the interim head coach at Georgia in 2016. After serving as receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator the last three years he got his shot when Kurt Roper was let go in early December.
The former Georgia wide receiver called the plays in USC's comeback over Michigan in the Outback Bowl which was his coordinator debut. USC scored 23 unanswered points to erase a 16 point deficit in a 26-19 win.
The Gamecocks produced 300 yards of total offense against the third ranked defense in the country in Michigan.
Even though McClendon never called a play in a game during his career Muschamp's belief in his ability paid off.
“Again, I think that was the biggest question mark I had. Obviously, all the other qualities I was looking for were there. You see the adjustments and the things that he did on game day were really good. It made my comfort level go much higher. I don’t see this as a gamble at all. I see this as very sure, good decision for our program," Muschamp said.
On the other side of the ball Muschamp's defensive Coordinator is Travaris Robinson. After making his debut as coordinator in 2016 USC has been top 10 in the country in takeaways the last two years. They had 27 in 2016 and 28 this season which led the SEC in back to back seasons. An packed SEC with top defensive units like Alabama and Georgia.
T-Rob and B-Mac as they are affectionately called are now the only two African-American offensive and defensive coordinators on the same team for a Power 5 school. Let me know the last time who have heard or seen that in college football or in the NFL.
To even further see the significance of their positions is that they coordinators are regarded as some of the best recruiters in the country. They now have even more of a selling point with recruits because they are now calling the plays that will be current and future recruits in the best position to be successful.
At the end of the 2017-2018 season there are only 12 black head coaches at the FBS level. They were 13 black coordinators going into the season and some serve as both head coach and coordinator like Vanderbilt's Derek Mason.
According to an article by SBNation going into the 2017 season 26 percent of the position coaches in college football are black.
Western Kentucky had two black coordinators in 2017 and Arizona did as well before Rich Rodriguez was fired as head coach. It's still a rarity to see at the FBS level of college football.
Now Muschamp wasn't trying to make a statement with his coordinator hiring, he is more about fit for the program but he's given coaches who are routinely overlooked one thing-an opportunity.
I just now think it's truly a blessing. It really is. It says a lot about not just me. It says a lot about Coach Muschamp. His comfort level with everything, too. This is a big hire for him. Just saying what it is. This is a big hire for him. Not just him. It's a big hire for the University of South Carolina," McClendon said. "Just placing that trust in me I think is really important, kind of regardless of whatever it is. I think it's truly a blessing. I'm proud to be here. (I) just have to do a good job of taking care of all the day-to-day stuff."
Only time will tell what kind of numbers and wins they can help produce for the South Carolina in the games to come but the fact that they are in a position to even attempt to do is an achievement of its own.
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