Shane Beamer begins his head coaching career at South Carolina with some fairly large obstacles in his path. One of the largest is the Gamecocks biggest rival, that school in the upstate.
With Will Muschamp’s exit and Beamer’s arrival, the rivalry between Clemson and South Carolina will now enter a new chapter. How that chapter ends is yet to be determined, but Beamer begins the next phase in his coaching career squarely behind the eight-ball.
Not only is he now tasked with trying to end a six game losing streak against the Tigers, as well as trying to make up ground against Clemson on the recruiting trail, he also needs to close the gap with some of the Gamecocks SEC East rivals.
One thing that does seem fairly certain is that the rivalry might be a little less contentious, at least when it comes to the head coaches anyways. Beamer and Dabo Swinney have a friendly relationship that goes back a long ways and the Clemson head coach was one of the first to get in touch with Beamer after he landed his new gig.
“Very much have a relationship with Dabo Swinney,” Beamer told DawgNation recently. “In fact, he was one of the very first people that reached out to me when I got this job. We’ve talked two or three times since then. We’re competitors. We’re rivals. But he is the same person… He was the recruiting coordinator at Clemson when I was at South Carolina as (an assistant coach). We kind of got to know each other during that time.”
The relationship goes even a little deeper than that. Both head coaches have seen their careers guided in one way or another by none other than Woody McCorvey, a key member of Swinney’s program currently.
“We have someone that both of us love dearly in Woody McCorvey that has had as much of an impact than anybody in this profession on me,” Beamer said. “And I think Dabo would say the same thing. Just knowing how I feel about coach McCorvey and how coach McCorvey feels about Dabo and vice versa, we’re certainly connected from that standpoint.”
However, while the two head coaches very much like one another off the field, Beamer says once the whistle blows on game days, the ultimate goal, of course, is to win.
“(Swinney) is just a genuinely good person,” Beamer said. “Yeah, we’re rivals and competitors and we’re going to try to beat each others brains out on the football field and all that stuff, but you can still be appreciative for where you are and treat people the right way and he’s been very good to me since I’ve got this job, for sure.”