COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - After a strong showing by South Carolina in the Outback Bowl, Bryan McClendon is now officially the Gamecocks' offensive coordinator.
That promotion was announced during a 10:30 a.m. news conference held by head coach Will Muschamp.
McClendon, who previously served as the team's wide receivers coach, was named the interim offensive coordinator after USC relieved Kurt Roper of his duties at that position. McClendon shared offensive coordinator responsibilities with Roper for two seasons. In what Muschamp called a "long interview" for McClendon, the former Georgia Bulldog guided the Gamecocks to a 26-point performance in their bowl win over Michigan on New Year's Day.
"You see all the rapport he has with our staff, with our players, how he positively affects everybody all over our organization," Muschamp said. "Very easy to see that when I wanted to go in a different direction for the bowl game."
Before arriving in Columbia, McClendon served as Georgia's wide receivers coach, assistant head coach, and passing game coordinator. During his time with the offensive staff in Athens, Georgia set records for total yards in a season, average yards per game, and most touchdowns in a season. He credits many of his former coaches for molding his offensive philosophy.
"I've been really fortunate, man, and really blessed to work with a lot of good offensive coaches," McClendon said. "I came up and cut my teeth under Coach (Mark) Richt. He's a very bright offensive coach. He believes in teaching. He believes in not just coaching and not just doing things but teaching how to do certain things. Mike Bobo, I think, is a very good offensive coach, Brian Schottenheimer, and Kurt Roper. You learn something from everybody that you kind of deal with.
"I think the biggest thing that I've learned the most since I've been here is going up against Coach Muschamp and (Travaris Robinson's) defense every day. You're talking about one of the best defensive minds in college football that you get to go up against every single day and it's really good because it's not like he's just coming out there trying to attack you. He's like 'Why don't you guys try this? This gives us problems.' That kind of helps you along."
Along with his duties as offensive coordinator, McClendon will still coach the Gamecocks' wide receivers.
McClendon was a wide receiver during his playing days at Georgia. During his time there, the Bulldogs won three SEC East titles, two SEC titles, and won three of four bowl games.
Muschamp also announced the addition of former Ole Miss offensive coordinator and now-offensive analyst Dan Werner as the quarterbacks coach.
"I talked to a lot of people, interviewed Dan one-on-one and brought him to Columbia for a day of bowl practice and saw that he and Bryan hit it off," Muschamp said. "I saw this was going to be able to work."
South Carolina (9-4, 5-3 SEC) finished up the season with a victory over the Michigan Wolverines in the Outback Bowl.