With a third of his assistant coaches gone, USC football coach Steve Spurrier has a crucial task in hiring the right people to ensure the continued progress of his program. Spurrier has to replace his running backs coach, his linebackes coach, and his spurs coach and special teams coordinator.
Spurrier has been recovering from knee replacement surgery last Friday and did not attend the coaches convention in San Antonio earlier this week. In his absence, Steve Spurrier Jr. has been working on the running backs coach and Lorenzo Ward has handled finding a new linebackers coach.
After communicating with several sources throughout the day Wednesday, here is what we know:
Spurrier is to meet with Spurrier Jr. and Ward Thursday to hear their proposals and talk about candidates. Wake Forest passing game coordinator and receivers coach Lonnie Galloway appears to be a strong candidate for the running backs position. He and USC offensive line coach Shawn Elliott are close friends having worked together at Appalachian State. Plus, he recruits the state of North Carolina, the same as former running backs coach Jay Graham. Galloway just completed his first season at Wake Forest. Before that he was at West Virginia for three seasons.
Former Gamecock defensive coordinator Ty Nix, who was part of the recently fired Ole Miss staff, has let Spurrier know he is interested in returning, and Spurrier may have some interest. Ward, however, would not be interested in that hire.
Former Clemson linebackers coach David Blackwell, who has been out of coaching the past two seasons and resides in Hilton Head, also has expressed interest, but will not be a factor.
One possibility is former Arkansas defensive ends and special teams coach Kirk Botkin who is now a high school coach in Texarkana, TX. Botkin was an All SEC tight end at Arkansas and played four seasons in the NFL. He coached at Arkansas from 2008-10.
At this point, no legitimate leads have emerged for the special teams job.