COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Newly hired Gamecocks’ head football coach, Shane Beamer, is back where he always wanted to be -- in Columbia, South Carolina.
Monday, speaking publicly for the first time since being hired, Beamer expressed his deep love for the program, the fan base, the community, and the Palmetto State.
“It’s an absolute dream come true,” Beamer said. “In my dreams, I wasn’t staring at a screen of reporters on Zoom, and we had a big room with my family and so many people in here. But, it certainly doesn’t take away from the excitement of being in this position.”
Beamer’s affection for Columbia developed in his years as an assistant working under Steve Spurrier. He spent four seasons on Spurrier’s coaching staff from 2007 through 2010.
He said those were “four of the greatest years” of his family’s life.
“Leaving here 10 years ago was extremely difficult,” Beamer said. “I told my wife -- I’ll never forget having this conversation -- that if I ever wanted to be the head football coach at South Carolina, I felt we needed to leave to go to Virginia Tech at that time. And then ultimately come back. I don’t know if she believed me or not, but she went along. We’ve worked for 10 years to get back to this special place. Baby, we did it. We’re back. The dream doesn’t end there.”
Beamer added he would have been crushed if this opportunity did not materialize.
UofSC President Bob Caslen and Athletics Director Ray Tanner recognized Beamer’s sincerity and desire to become the 36th head coach in program history.
“It seems like yesterday Coach Beamer was on campus,” said Tanner. “It’s been 10 years. He made an impact while he was here as a coach and person. He stayed in touch with many people here in our city and campus community. Widely respected.”
Caslen added: “I could not be more excited for today. Today is a day of great promise. We all want a championship here at South Carolina. I am absolutely convinced, and I am more confident than I’ve ever been, that Coach Shane Beamer is the one that will get us there.”
Both Caslen and Tanner value Beamer’s extensive college coaching resume.
He has spent time working with many elite programs, including coaching alongside his dad, legendary Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer.
All of his experiences prepared him for this dream opportunity.
Beamer, 43, has been an assistant coach at seven Football Bowl Subdivision schools for 21 seasons. He has coached in 17 bowl games during his career, including a College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun building the premiere culture in all of college football,” Beamer said. “(It) starts with investing in the relationships with these players, this current team, and getting out here and continuing to grow this awesome football program.”
Before Beamer invests all his time building a winner in Columbia, he intends to finish what he started this season at Oklahoma. He currently serves as the assistant head football coach on Lincoln Riley’s Sooners’ staff.
“It’s very important to me,” Beamer explained. “I have deep relationships with those players at Oklahoma. I want to be loyal to those guys, as well. I don’t want to sweep the rug out from under them and leave them high and dry with two weeks left in our regular season with another opportunity to win a Big 12 championship.”
Beamer relayed that message of trust, communication, and loyalty to his Gamecock players during his first meeting with them Sunday night. He said the message was well-received.
He ended his opening statement at Monday’s news conference by reiterating that it’s an absolute honor to be the head coach at South Carolina.
“You have my word that we will work every single day to build a program that you are proud of,” he said. “My last year here at Carolina, we got over to Atlanta and came up a little bit short in that championship game. I will work tirelessly with my staff that we put together, and our team, to get back to Atlanta and finish the deal this time.”