South Carolina football: Marcus Satterfield to Nebraska?

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer is about to have a major role to fill on his staff.

Offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield is set to join Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule’s staff in Lincoln, per separate reports Monday from ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Chris Low.

“Nebraska is close to hiring South Carolina OC Marcus Satterfield as the school’s new offensive coordinator,” Thamel wrote via Twitter on Monday morning. “South Carolina made a strong push to keep Satterfield, but his ties to Rhule and the opportunity to go to Nebraska won out.”

Low reported direct confirmation from Satterfield that “he’s accepted a job to go with Matt Rhule as @HuskerFBNation‘s O.C.” The actual confirmation of a departure — or the hire by Nebraska — would not come from USC’s end, a school spokesman told The State.

However, Satterfield was not in South Carolina’s football facility for team meetings Monday, an athletics source told The State.

Satterfield’s move would come after No. 20 South Carolina (8-4) finished the year notching back-to-back Top 10 wins for the first time in program history with victories over No. 5 Tennessee and No. 8 Clemson. The Gamecocks scored 94 points in those wins, largely on the efforts of quarterback Spencer Rattler and the offense.

Rhule and Satterfield’s relationship dates back to their time at Western Carolina in 2005. Satterfield also worked on Rhule’s staffs at Temple, Baylor and the Carolina Panthers. The two have remained close at that time. Rhule was set to be officially introduced as Nebraska’s new coach Monday afternoon.

It wasn’t immediately known who would lead the Gamecocks offense in the interim and call the plays for South Carolina’s to-be-determined bowl game.

Beamer after the Clemson game Saturday called Satterfield a “fighter” and praised his efforts in the rivalry game win.

“He’d be the first one to tell you that we didn’t coach well enough in the Florida game, we didn’t coach well enough in the Missouri game,” Beamer said. We knew what the issues were.

Satterfield’s future in Columbia was uncertain at best before South Carolina’s offensive explosions against Tennessee and Clemson, according to sources inside the program.

Satterfield was in the midst of a two-year contract that was set to expire Dec. 31. He was also one of just two on-field assistant coaches — along with offensive line coach Greg Adkins — who did not receive raises from the university following last year’s inaugural 7-6 campaign.

Under Satterfield’s Guidance, South Carolina scored 21 or fewer points in six of its eight league games in 2021. It faced halftime deficits of at least 17 points in games against Tennessee, Texas A&M, Georgia and Clemson. The Gamecocks were also shut out by the Tigers for the first time since 1989 in last year’s 30-0 loss.

Head-scratching play calls, like a trick-play pass by defensive lineman Jordan Burch on the Tennessee goal line that was intercepted last year, didn’t exactly endear the offensive coordinator to the Gamecocks faithful either.

South Carolina was expected to take a step forward offensively in 2022. Until the last two games, the team had remained largely inconsistent despite an influx of talent via the transfer portal.

Rattler, who came to Columbia as one of the most sought-after quarterback transfers in recent memory, has been up and down this fall. His 11 interceptions are the most among SEC signal-callers averaging at least 15 passes per game. He also threw for less than 250 yards in nine of 12 games heading into the week.

Rattler has had two of his three best games as a Gamecock in the last two weeks. He completed 54 of 75 passes (72%) for 792 yards, eight touchdowns and just two interceptions in the wins over Tennessee and Clemson. His 438 yards against the Vols also set a career-high.

Do-it-all tight end Jaheim Bell’s usage also became a hot-button topic late in the season after he played only nine snaps with no touches in the loss to Missouri—a game the Gamecocks turned in just 203 yards of total offense.

Beamer hired Satterfield after initially retaining Mike Bobo as South Carolina’s offensive coordinator. Beamer was forced to pivot when Bobo accepted the offensive coordinator job under Bryan Harsin at Auburn. Bobo was fired after just one season on The Plains.

Satterfield and Beamer also go back decades after working together as graduate assistants on Philip Fulmer’s staff at Tennessee in the early 2000s. Satterfield — a Tennessee native — played his college ball at East Tennessee State and spent two years on the staff at UT-Chattanooga before landing on the Tennessee staff.

This story was originally published November 28, 2022 10:02 AM.

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Ben Portnoy is the State’s South Carolina Gamecocks football beat writer. He’s a five-time Associated Press Sports Editors award honoree and has earned recognition from the Mississippi Press Association and the National Sports Media Association. Portnoy previously covered Mississippi State for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Indiana football for the Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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