New South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer and the Gamecocks took center stage Monday afternoon at SEC Media Days in Birmingham, AL.
The first-year head Gamecock won day one of the annual event with his charisma and energy.
“I said this in my press conference back in December: I didn’t think there was anything at South Carolina that we lacked to be a championship program,” said Beamer Monday. “I’m even more convinced of that now after being there for seven months.”
Beamer takes over a South Carolina program that finished 2-8 last season under Will Muschamp and 4-8 the season before. But Beamer is demanding more from his players, focusing on what he and the Gamecock staff accomplished when he was an assistant under Steve Spurrier from 2007-10.
“I’m not talking about something that hasn’t been done before at South Carolina,” Beamer said. “My last year at USC, we played for the SEC Championship, we beat Alabama. We’re not talking about something that happened forty years ago.”
There are only four new SEC head coaches but seven are making their media days debuts, at least with their current teams. The event was canceled last year because of the pandemic.
The league’s other new coaches include Auburn’s Bryan Harsin, Vanderbilt’s Clark Lea and Tennessee’s Josh Heupel. Lane Kiffin, a former Volunteers coach, is representing Mississippi in Hoover for the first time. Ditto for Mississippi State’s Mike Leach and Arkansas’ Sam Pittman.
Shane Beamer’s father, Frank, never ventured into the SEC as a coach but the overtures did come — even from Alabama.
The Crimson Tide had the head job come open fairly frequently before landing coach Nick Saban in 2007, cycling through coaches like Mike DuBose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Price and Mike Shula. Longtime Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer did get contacted, his son said.
“I can remember a couple times that the Alabama job came open, Alabama reaching out to him at Virginia Tech for sure,” Beamer said.
The Associated Press contributed to the writing of this article.