South Carolina football’s on-field coaching staff is officially complete — again.
USC’s board of trustees met Friday afternoon and approved the contract for new running backs coach Montario Hardesty, coach Shane Beamer’s replacement after former position coach Des Kitchings left for the NFL.
Hardesty, who comes to the Gamecocks from the Charlotte 49ers, will make $300,000 per year for two years. His bonus structure is the same as it is for the team’s other assistants.
If Hardesty leaves Carolina in the next year for a new job, he’ll own USC a $100,000 buyout. That drops to $50,000 in Year 2. Those buyout numbers increase, though, if Hardesty goes to another school in the SEC — $200,000 in Year 1, $100,000 in Year 2.
Hardesty played college ball at Tennessee, earning All-SEC honors as a senior, and spent a season there in 2018 as a quality control assistant.
The contract approved Friday will pay Hardesty as much as Kitchings made last season — he was set to receive a raise to $420,000 in 2021 before he took a job with the Atlanta Falcons.
The combined annual salaries of all 10 Gamecock assistants reaches $4.88 million per year, a slight decline from the total under Will Muschamp in 2020, when the Gamecocks were set to spend $5.28 million on assistants before COVID-19 related cuts reduced that total to just shy of $5.1 million.
With plenty of turnover across coaching staffs across the SEC, it’s unclear where exactly that $4.88 million will rank in the conference in terms of salary pools. In 2020, the Gamecocks were ninth with that $5.1 million figure. The $4.88 million figure would have put them 10th, ahead of Kentucky, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
In 2020, South Carolina was one of six SEC schools to have two assistants set to be paid $1 million, alongside Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas and Georgia.
There are no million-dollar assistants on Beamer’s staff for 2021. According to media reports and publicly available contracts, of the 13 public SEC schools, Kentucky and Mississippi State are the only other programs reportedly set to not pay any assistants $1 million
South Carolina’s staff trends young under Beamer, with every coach under 55 years old and several in their 30s. Beamer himself is the third-youngest head coach in the SEC, older only that Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz and Vanderbilt’s Clark Lea.
USC FOOTBALL SALARY COMPARISONS
2020: Will Muschamp — $4.6 million
2021: Shane Beamer — $2.75 million
Offensive coordinator/QBs coach
2020: Mike Bobo — $1.2 million
2021: Marcus Satterfield — $900,000
Running backs coach
2020: Des Kitchings — $300,000
2021: Montario Hardesty — $300,000
Wide receivers coach
2020: Joe Cox — $180,000
2021: Justin Stepp — $460,000
Tight ends coach
2020: Bobby Bentley — $400,000
2021: Erik Kimrey — $200,000
Offensive line coach
2020: Eric Wolford — $700,000
2021: Greg Adkins — $550,000
2020: Travaris Robinson — $1.2 million
2021: Clayton White — $900,000
Defensive line coach
2020: Tracy Rocker — $525,000
2021: Jimmy Lindsey — $350,000
Outside linebackers coach
2020: Mike Peterson — $300,000
2021: Mike Peterson — $420,000
Defensive assistant coach
2020: Rod Wilson (linebackers) — $275,000
2021: Torrian Gray (defensive backs) — $350,000
Special teams coordinator
2020: Kyle Krantz — $200,000
2021: Pete Lembo — $450,000