Magic Man

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One of the most interesting aspects of Steve Spurier’s unexpected, mid-season resignation as South Carolina’s head football coach is the elevation of G.A. Mangus to the Gamecocks Offensive Coordinator.

There were other choices for Offensive Coordinator among the offensive staff, including Steve Spurrier, Jr., who now coaches the wide receivers.

Mangus has deep ties to Steve Spurrier. He played quarterback for the Gators from 1988 to 1991, and played two years under Spurrier. Mangus was a Gator playing for Spurrier when Florida won the school’s first SEC championship in 1991.

Mangus’s claim to fame as a coach came as the head coach of Delaware Valley, a Division III school. He turned that program around from a 2-8 season in his first year. In the next three seasons Delaware Valley notched a 33-4 record, won three conference championships, and advanced to the national quarterfinals twice.

An article about Mangus’ 2004 award as the Maxwell Football Club Tri State Coach of the Year, positively glows in describing Mangus’ work at Delaware Valley. The following bit from that article is particularly noteworthy for Gamecock fans.

When Mangus accepted the job at Delaware Valley, he said the program was “like intramural football. (Players) were out here so they could tell the girls, ‘Hey, I’m on the football team.'” He spent the first year, in his words, “weeding out” those players and identifying the ones who were willing to pay the price to win. He inherited 86 players and by the end of the 2002 season, only 44 remained.

Mangus and his coaching staff brought in more than 100 freshmen for the 2003 season and he began shaping his team. Mangus played quarterback for Steve Spurrier at the University of Florida and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant there. He set high standards and expected his players to meet them. In 2003, the Rams won nine games and lost only two, finishing just one game out of first place in the MAC. In 2004, Mangus’ team took the next step, winning the title, earning him the nickname “The Magic Man.”

Hopefully, Mangus will secure his Magic Man nickname by turning the inconsistent Gamecocks offensive team around in the second half of the season. At the all-important quarterback position the Gamecocks have a dinged-up true freshman and a former walk-on as the first two quarterbacks on the offensive depth chart. With a brutal upcoming SEC schedule and Clemson ahead, turning this 2015 season around and achieving bowl eligibility will be nothing short of magical.

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