South Carolina: With a $2 Million Staff, Will Spurrier Finally Develop a QB?

NC NighthawkAnalyst IFebruary 28, 2009


Show me the money!

$2 million for Steve Spurrier's rebuilt football staff at South Carolina?  Almost.
The school released salaries of Spurrier's nine assistants and new strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald on Thursday after a request by the Associated Press and other media outlets.
I don't mind the high salaries if the coaching staff is actually productive.  By productive, I mean clearly building a winner. As for Spurrier, after underachieving so far as the Gamecocks head coach, will he finally recruit and develop a quarterback who can competently run his offense?

Two years ago, Spurrier's nine assistants earned a combined $1.326 million, according to contracts. Very nice raise, I say.  However, South Carolina will not pay as much as Tennessee under new coach Lane Kiffin, whose staff will make a combined $3.3 million. That's believed to be the highest amount in the Southeastern Conference.

Do you want to read the details?
  • Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward will earn the most of Spurrier's six new hires at $275,000 a year.
  • Right behind is Eric Wolford, the running game coordinator and offensive line coach, who will earn $250,000.
  • First-year quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus will earn $140,000. Tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Johnson "Jeep" Hunter will earn $140,000 and running backs coach Jay Graham $110,000.
  • Fitzgerald will earn $128,000.
  • Tops of the staff remains assistant head coach Ellis Johnson, who heads up the Gamecock defense. Last fall, university trustees approved an improved financial package that brings him $350,000 a season. Johnson has said he will keep control of the defense, but surrendered the title so the Gamecocks could attract Ward from Arkansas after last season.
  • Among South Carolina's returning staff, defensive line coach Brad Lawing will earn $200,000, same as receivers coach Steve Spurrier, Jr.  The head coach's son is the only assistant who has remained on his father's staff through Spurrier's first four seasons with the Gamecocks. Spurrier, Jr. was given added play-calling duties last season.
  • Shane Beamer, the son of Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, will earn $165,000 as cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator.
South Carolina fans should (and perhaps they are) wondering if Spurrier is going to finally deliver.  By deliver, I mean actually compete for the SEC East Division and SEC titles!  By deliver, I mean annually compete for a top BCS Bowl.  By deliver, I mean having a solid top 10, if not top five team.
Whether they actually produce or deliver, Gamecocks coaches are grinning all the way to the bank as they enjoy golf at the fine courses in South Carolina, such as Hilton Head. Maybe they even get an annual visit or two to the Augusta National, approximately an hour's drive from Columbia, SC.
Again, I don't have a problem with these coaches' salaries in our supply and demand economy.  I only question if Spurrier's coaching staff have their priorities in line and will actually show improvement on the football field.
What do South Carolina fans think about this?  What do you think about this?