The South Carolina Gamecocks will be without Jeep Hunter as the safeties coach in 2012. He has been relieved of his duties after just completing his third season with the team.
Hunter had been the safeties coach in 2011 and the two years prior to that, he was the tight ends coach as well as an assistant special teams coordinator.
This came out of nowhere for us, the fans, and Humer himself as Josh Kendall of The State tweeted that “Hunter was returning from a recruiting trip and in the airport when… Spurrier called to tell him he was fired.”
Wow....there has to be more to this story.....
In a statement from USC, head coach Steve Spurrier ”indicated that he felt the team needed a more experienced secondary coach and has decided to go in that direction.” Yet this direction is not known as of this writing.
“We wish Coach Hunter and his family the very best,” said Coach Spurrier.
No reason for the dismissal has been given as of yet.
Hunter becomes the fifth assistant to leave the staff since the end of the season. The others were running backs coach Jay Graham, special teams coordinator and spur safety coach John Butler, linebackers coach and defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and strength coordinator Craig Fitzgerald.
So what does it mean for USC to lose Jeep Hunter?
In the LOHD view, not a whole lot. Yeah it sucks to see this much turnover on the coaching staff after 11 wins but things like this happen in today's college football world. Losing Hunter will not hurt USC except from a PR side for awhile. Hunter did a good job but it seems Spurrier wants a more experienced coach to help with the Coach Ward, which is understandable. Hunter was not the know-all-be-all on the recruiting trail so don't fret in that arena. USC should be able to find a coach to help in the secondary very soon. But with the news of losing Hunter, we go back to what we have said for years now....trust Spurrier.
You're right - what else can we do but trust Spurrier and hope that Jeep lands on his feet. The more I think about it, the likeliest explanation is that Hunter simply wasn't getting it done on the recruiting trail; it's not enough simply to be a decent position coach - you have to be a great recruiter too or else we are placed at a disadvantage with our rivals. If the replacement comes with the reputation of being a strong recruiter, and not much experience with safeties either, then that would tend to support this thesis. If the replacement, however, is a pure position guy without a big-time recruiting rep, then perhaps the explanation was that Jeep simply wasn't getting it done as a defensive coach, and would be a better fit at a place that will let him coach offense.
@tryptic67 I think that's exactly right. This page tells you all you need to know about Jeep's 2012 recruiting efforts:
He didn't sign one commit this signing season. All of his targets were in Florida and you just can't afford to not do well in what Spurrier has to consider a home state for him.