COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - It all starts with positive energy. First-year Gamecocks head football coach Shane Beamer radiates with excitement around the football facility.
“He’s uplifting at all times,” said sophomore defensive lineman Jordan Burch. “Always smiling at practice.”
Beamer is building a foundation to create a culture based on hard work, enthusiasm, and family. A process that began upon his arrival in early December by immediately connecting with Gamecock players.
“He told us, let’s get ready to work,” said sophomore linebacker Mo Kaba. “Right now, he’s earned my trust already by his actions.”
Beamer also demands accountability. Not merely by words but through his actions.
“You see him everywhere,” mentioned Kaba. “Before you’re working out, he’s already in there working out. Before you’re in the practice room, meeting room, he’s already in there saying what’s up to everybody. He’s going to do what you do two times more.”
“He brings a lot of energy and good vibes around the locker room,” added sophomore defensive lineman Tonka Hemingway.
Beamer’s passion for seeing players succeed inspires dedication to the new process in spring workouts.
“For me to see that, I know he wants us to be better with everything that we do,” Burch said. “Having him around pumps everybody up.”
“Tries to get us to come up with things to do together outside of football to help us bond,” said Hemingway.
A focus on togetherness made the transition easier for the team to endure.
Carolina fired former head coach Will Muschamp midway through his fifth season last fall. Muschamp was well-liked by many current players, especially on the defensive side.
“It’s been a wild ride with Muschamp leaving,” said Burch. “That was my guy. Having Beamer come in and take over the program, it’s been a pretty smooth ride so far.”
“Only thing I would say that would be different is the weight room, and competitiveness is more fun,” added Burch.
Enter new strength and conditioning coach Luke Day. The players rally around Day’s approach to competition and lifting. It’s a fresh perspective to training the team enjoys, especially the nighttime battles.
“It’s a good thing to get you competing,” said Kaba. “People sometimes stay in their shell and don’t come out. But when you’re competing against that one person in front of you, you have to come out.”
“He brings a lot of energy, and it’s a great atmosphere,” mentioned Hemingway. “I learned if you want to win, you have to fight for it. It’s not going to be given to you.”
A fighting spirit being fostered this off-season in the weight room and on the proving grounds. Kaba loves his teammates’ desire to run toward this new opportunity to build something special in Columbia.
“Everybody looks hungry,” said Kaba. “Everybody wants to eat right now. Everybody is ready to learn something new.”
It’s a new attitude that has Gamecock players beaming with excitement this spring.