Shane Beamer wins national first-year head coach award named after Steve Spurrier

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Joshua Boucher/

Shane Beamer is adding some hardware to his trophy case.

The former Oklahoma and Georgia assistant was named the co-winner of the Steve Spurrier Award by the Football Writer’s Association of America on Monday night. The award is given to the most outstanding first-year head coach in college football.

Beamer was one of three finalists along with Tennessee’s Josh Heupel, who he shared the award with, and UCF’s Gus Malzahn.

South Carolina finished Beamer’s first season in Columbia 7-6 with a 38-21 win over North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. USC also notched wins over Florida and Auburn and became just the second school in college football history to win games with four different starting quarterbacks.

The Gamecocks had won six games combined over the two seasons prior to Beamer’s hiring in Columbia.

Beamer’s squad has remained hot as the offseason rolls on. South Carolina secured commitments from Oklahoma transfers Spencer Rattler and Austin Stogner. N.C. State defensive lineman Terrell Dawkins, Wake Forest running back Christian Beal-Smith, James Madison receiver Antwane Wells and Central Michigan safety Devonni Reed have all announced commitments to USC over the last two weeks as well.

South Carolina’s 2022 recruiting class currently ranks No. 22 nationally and No. 10 in the Southeastern Conference, per 247Sports. The Gamecocks reeled in pledges from four separate four-star recruits in the class, including quarterbacks Tanner Bailey (Gordo, Alabama) and Braden Davis (Middletown, Delaware).

Spurrier was made the namesake of the FWAA’s annual award in July having won it himself in 2005 after his 7-6 debut season at South Carolina. This is the first year the award will boast Spurrier’s name and is the 20th presentation overall.

Beamer previously worked on Spurrier’s staff between 2007 and 2010 in a variety of roles. The post marked Beamer’s second full-time assistant coaching job after spent three years on Sylvester Croom’s staff at Mississippi State.

Colorado’s Karl Dorrell won last year’s award. Other past winners include Chip Kelly (Oregon, 2009), Jimbo Fisher (Florida State, 2010) and Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma, 2017).

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