McClendon reportedly ducking out on #Gamecocks

Bryan McClendon’s stay at USC reportedly is over (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

Bryan McClendon apparently has found his way out of Columbia. USC’s wide receivers coach, and former offensive coordinator, will be the new receivers coach at Oregon according to multiple reports. Earlier this year after losing the OC title, McClendon interviewed for the receivers job with the Pittsburgh Steelers but lost out to veteran NFL coach Ike Hilliard. At Oregon, McClendon will replace Jovon Bouknight who parted ways with head coach Mario Cristobal on March 7th and was hired three days later by Kentucky.

Thursday afternoon, Keith Allsep of the LockedontheGamecocks Podcast was the first to break the definitive news on McClendon’s departure and Will Muschamp’s plans for the offensive staff.

Other outlets around the state and nationally have since offered up confirmation of McClendon’s move to the Pacific Northwest.

McClendon was an original staff hire by Muschamp in 2015 and was brought in as the co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach. He was named interim offensive coordinator prior to the bowl game with Michigan at the end of the nine-win 2017 season after Kurt Roper was fired. The Gamecocks managed just 300 yards in the game but did score 23 second half points to rally for the victory. Muschamp later promoted McClendon to the full-time offensive coordinator’s position.

That looked like a wise decision in 2018 as the Gamecocks averaged 426 yards and 30 points per game. But last season those numbers dropped off to 372 yards and 22 points per game. No doubt the Gamecocks’ offense suffered due to the season ending injury to quarterback Jake Bentley in the season opening game. The offense also was crippled by injuries at running back and receiver throughout the season. Still, Muschamp made the decision in December to let Dan Werner go as quarterbacks coach and hire former Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo as the new QB coach and offensive coordinator.

That made McClendon the highest paid receivers coach in college football. At the end of the 2018 season, as the OC and receivers coach, McClendon was given a three year contract at a million dollars per season. So, USC was on the hook for his money thru the end of the 2021 campaign. As receivers coach only, and earning a million dollars per season, McClendon was making 400-hundred thousand dollars more than the next highest paid receivers coach, Billy Gonzales of Florida, according to Football Scoop. McClendon certainly can expect a major pay cut at Oregon where Bouknight make $310 thousand dollars, plus incentives, last season.

Despite the offensive issues of last season under his watch, McClendon otherwise was a positive part of the Gamecock coaching staff. He was one of their top recruiters landing numerous players, especially from the state of Georgia. And under his watch, Deebo Samuel developed into a second round NFL draft pick and Bryan Edwards became the all-time leading receiver at USC.

Once Muschamp hires Kitchings, the revolving door at the Cyndi and Kenneth Long Family Football Operations Center center should stop spinning. The 2020 Gamecock staff will feature five new coaches, three on offense and two on defense. Of the original nine on the field assistant coaches Muschamp started with in 2016, only Bentley, defensive coordinator and secondary coach Travaris Robinson and outside linebackers coach Mike Peterson remain on staff.

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