South Carolina running backs coach Montario Hardesty speaks to the press at a conference on Feb. 9. Hardesty, who worked with Charlotte before joining the Gamecocks, is the newest addition to South Carolina’s coaching staff.

South Carolina football’s 2021 coaching staff was completed Friday when the university’s board of trustees agreed to pay running backs coach Montario Hardesty $300,000 per year. 

Combined, the University of South Carolina is spending over $7.5 million on the base salaries of the coaching staff. Head coach Shane Beamer is the highest compensated, with a $2.75 million salary guaranteed yearly. The board unanimously approved Hardesty’s two-year contract.

Of the 11 coaches, 10 will start their first season in Williams-Brice Stadium this fall. Hardesty comes to Carolina from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where he was the wide receiver coach. He also played in the NFL as a running back for the Cleveland Browns.

“I always say running backs are the energy starters,” Hardesty said in a Feb. 9 press conference. “So one thing I want you to see from my guys when we start spring ball and start this thing going is that those guys are bringing passion and energy every day to the field. We’re going to be the energy starters for the team.”

The Gamecocks coaching lineup was initially solidified in late December, with Will Friend newly hired as the offensive line coach and Mike Bobo retained as offensive coordinator. But Beamer had some shuffling to do after losing Friend and Bobo to Auburn. 

This left the door open for new offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield, formerly an assistant coach for the Carolina Panthers.

Hardesty, the newest addition to the coaching staff, was also an offensive quality control coach at Tennessee, before being picked up by Charlotte.

“When we were doing our research on Montario, more than one coach or administrator used the word ‘star’ to describe him,” Beamer said in a press conference. “They said, ‘Shane, this guy’s a future star.’”

Beamer said Hardesty’s experience, both with Charlotte and playing as a running back in the NFL, will help the team.

“Anytime you can have a coach on your staff that has played the game in the NFL, which is where all of our guys want to get, I think that’s a fantastic resource for our guys to have, and he’s one of many that we now have on this coaching staff and in this building,” Beamer said.

Hardesty will also be the Gamecocks’ third running backs coach within a year, Beamer said.

“It’s tough on a running back or any position player when you have multiple position coaches in that short a period of time,” Beamer said. It’s also something that Hardesty went through himself in college.

The board of trustees approved Hardesty’s two-year contract on Friday. Under the contract, Hardesty earns $300,000 per year and has the potential to earn more through bonuses. Photo by: Christine Bartruff

South Carolina head football coach Shane Beamer speaks to the press on Feb. 9. Beamer said he is “pumped” to have Hardesty join the coaching staff.