Sources: South Carolina to pick new football coach this weekend
Expect the South Carolina coaching vacancy to be filled this weekend sources tell FOX Sports.
Among the coaches South Carolina interviewed earlier in the week were former interim coach Shawn Elliott, former Florida coach Will Muschamp and Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. As FOX Sports first reported Thursday afternoon, Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez also has emerged as a candidate and interviewed for the job. Rodriguez, USF head coach Willie Taggart and former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano all interviewed on Friday in North Carolina, where the meetings took place. Cal's Sonny Dykes also is considered a candidate for the job.
The 46-year-old Dykes also was in the mix for the Virginia and Mizzou coaching jobs that have been filled. He is 13-23 in three years with the Golden Bears, but has Cal, at 7-5, bowl bound for the first time since 2011.
The 52-year-old Rodriguez, a former Clemson offensive coordinator, won the Pac-12 South in 2014, going 10-4. It was only the second 10-win season in Arizona's history. He is 32-20 at 'Zona and has beaten four Top 10 teams the past four seasons. Rodriguez has gotten the Wildcats bowl eligible in each of his four seasons at U of A; it's also the first time the program will have qualified for bowl games four years in a row.
Muschamp, 44, spent this season as Auburn's defensive coordinator after his four years as the head coach at Florida, where he went 28-21. He led UF to a Sugar Bowl in 2010 and was lauded by his bosses for the way he ran the program, on and off the field.
Riley's stock is soaring. He's a Broyles Award finalist, honoring the nation's top assistant, after taking over the Sooners' offense. They rank in the top 20 in both rushing offense and passing offense. OU is No. 3 in the nation in scoring after ranking No. 21 in 2014. The Texas native had worked at ECU for five seasons as the Pirates' OC before Bob Stoops hired him to invigorate the Sooners' offense.
Taggart has led USF to an 8-4 year after a 1-3 start. It's his third season in Tampa, after going 2-10 in his first. The Jim Harbaugh protege, a former Stanford assistant, orchestrated a similar rise after a 2-10 debut season in three years at Western Kentucky before getting the Bulls job.
The 49-year-old Schiano took an awful Rutgers program and made it a perennial bowl team (and went 5-1 in bowl games) and consistently produced some of the highest academic-achieving programs in college football. He left Rutgers after a decade to become the Tampa Bay Bucs head coach. He lasted two seasons, going 11-21, and has worked as a TV analyst this fall.
Steve Spurrier resigned as the Gamecocks head coach at midseason as Carolina struggled to a 3-9 record.