Steve Spurrier, the former Florida head coach and now-resigned South Carolina head coach, supports the idea of fellow former Gators head coach Will Muschamp taking over the Gamecocks, according to multiple sources.
Spurrier has recommended Muschamp to South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner and has assisted Muschamp's efforts to contact coaches affiliated with the Gamecock program, as well as key boosters, according to one source.
Muschamp spent 2015 as Auburn's defensive coordinator. He's also being targeted as Kirby Smart's new defensive coordinator at Georgia. If hired as South Carolina's head coach, he'd plan to adopt a different offensive philosophy than his ball-control Gators used during his 28-21 stint from 2011 to 2014.
Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez is also expected to interview, according to sources. Rodriguez was first reported in a list by FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman that included Cal head coach Sonny Dykes, Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley and former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano.
Spurrier and Muschamp developed a bond when both were head coaches in the SEC East. Spurrier began flying to an annual offseason ESPN event alongside Muschamp in Florida's plane.
"It gave Will and me a chance to go up there and talk a little bit," Spurrier said. "He was coaching as an assistant at LSU when I was at Florida. Just got to know him a little bit. He's a good guy, a good coach."
"He's a fun guy to be around," Muschamp said of Spurrier. "He's an outstanding football coach. He's a Hall of Fame player and coach. I enjoy his company and the stories and different things going through the year and talking about the Florida program. It's just a lot of fun.
"He's been very supportive of me since I've been here. He's gone out of his way to support me, and I really appreciate that."
Spurrier referred to the end of Muschamp's time at Florida as "unlucky," saying, "If he wants to coach again next year, I’m sure a lot of people will be after him."
Weeks later, Spurrier denied rumors that he was seeking to add Muschamp as South Carolina's defensive coordinator.
Spurrier resigned in October with a 228-89-2 overall career record, saying it was for the good of the school.