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South Carolina announces hiring of Tennessee assistant coach

Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

South Carolina has hired Tennessee offensive line coach Will Friend to the same position. Friend joins Shane Beamer’s initial coaching staff with the Gamecocks.

Beamer was hired to be Carolina’s new head coach on Dec. 5 after Will Muschamp was relieved of his duties several weeks prior. Beamer was at Oklahoma as the associate head coach and tight ends coach. He previously worked at South Carolina from 2007-2010.

Friend departs Tennessee’s coaching staff following his third season on Rocky Top. Jeremy Pruitt hired Friend to his initial coaching staff when he accepted the UT job in 2017. Pruitt hired Friend away from Colorado State, where Friend served as the offensive line coach for three seasons from 2015-17.

Friend spent four seasons at Georgia prior to his time at Colorado State, beginning in 2011 as offensive line coach and adding the title of running game coordinator for the Bulldogs in 2013. His time in Athens came after four seasons as offensive line coach at UAB (2007-10).

He was a two-time All-SEC and four-year starting guard at Alabama. Friend helped the Crimson Tide to the SEC Western Division title and berths in the SEC Championship Game in 1993, 1994 and 1996, with appearances in the Gator Bowl, Citrus Bowl and Outback Bowl. Friend was named to Alabama’s Team of the Decade for the 1990s.

Friend was a Parade Magazine All-America selection as a senior at Neshoba Central High in Philadelphia, Miss. He earned his bachelor’s degree in human performance from Alabama in 1998. He and his wife, the former Carrie Moon, have three children: Katie, Brooks and Charlie.

Tennessee is coming off of a 3-7 season in year three under Jeremy Pruitt. The Vols began the season 2-0, but lost seven of their last eight games, all of which were by double-digits.

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