Gamecocks' Bryan McClendon promoted to full-time offensive coordinator
Will Muschamp has filled South Carolina's vacant offensive coordinator position by elevating current assistant Bryan McClendon to the full-time role in a move that was announced during a press conference Friday morning.
Gamecock Central first learned that Muschamp was learning towards promoting McClendon on Wednesday, news that was reported on The Insiders Forum.
After last month's dismissal of co-offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, who called plays for Carolina the last two seasons, McClendon was tabbed by Muschamp to call the Gamecocks' offensive plays in the Outback Bowl against Michigan.
"Throughout the entire time, I was extremely impressed without how he managed the situation and he we were able to adjust," Muschamp said Friday. "In his first game calling a game, he did a lot better than a lot of proven coordinators, I can tell you that. I'm exciting about that. I've got great belief in Bryan and our entire offensive staff."
The 34-year old Georgia native just completed his second season on the Gamecock coaching staff and was brought to Columbia as the co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach when Muschamp first arrived in Columbia.
"I think it's all just to buy-in to everything we have going on here at South Carolina as a team," McClendon said. "One of the biggest things that Coach Muschamp always talks about is effort, toughness and discipline. I think on offense, we want to lead the country in effort, toughness and discipline. ... One thing we do have to do is do all we can to give our players the best chance to be successful. I think that's all any coach can be asked to do."
In the bowl, the Gamecocks, down 16 points in the second half, came from behind to win, posting the third-highest point total surrendered by Michigan's defense this season.
A Rivals.com top 25 recruiter for the 2017 cycle, McClendon has done fine work in that department while at USC. He's led efforts on signing four-star wide receiver prospects Bryan Edwards, OrTre Smith, Shi Smith, and Josh Vann, among other prospects.
An alumnus of the University of Georgia, McClendon enjoyed a successful playing career in Athens prior to a stint in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. He was an assistant coach under Mark Richt at UGA from 2009 until 2015.
As running backs coach, he recruited and tutored Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Isaiah Crowell, among others. He also recruited talents such as Keith Marshall, Lorenzo Carter, Isaiah McKenzie, Kendall Baker, and Isaiah Wynn.
McClendon was the program's recruiting coordinator in 2014 and 2015 and added the titles of assistant head coach and passing game coordinator during the 2015 campaign. He served as UGA's interim head coach at the conclusion of the 2015 and led the Bulldogs to a win over Penn State.
Under McClendon, South Carolina is expected to run a spread offense with up-tempo principles, which is the identity that Muschamp has hoped to establish in Columbia.