USC's Spurrier looking for new coach

Former USC offensive line coach Eric Wolford was introduced as the new head coach of Youngstown State Tuesday afternoon. / photo courtesy:Youngstown State Media Relations

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is doing something he didn't want to do at the end of this season -- hiring a new assistant.

Gamecocks offensive line coach Eric Wolford left after just one year to become head coach at Youngstown State in his Ohio hometown.

Spurrier said Tuesday he told Wolford he didn't think it was the right decision. But he says the team has to move on.

Spurrier says he already has a stack of candidates, but is in no hurry to hire a new coach.

The Gamecocks had their first practice Tuesday for their Jan. 2 game against Connecticut in the bowl in Birmingham, Ala.

Spurrier says he plans to spend some time getting more practice in for his younger players that are quickly making the core of the team.

Meanwhile, Wolford was being introduced as the new head man at Youngstown State. School president Dr. David C. Sweet announced the hiring on Tuesday.

Wolford is a Youngstown native who coached at South Carolina, Illinois, Arizona, North Texas, Houston, South Florida, Emporia State and Kansas State.

He succeeds Jon Heacock, who stepped down at the end of the season after going 60-44 in nine years at the Football Championship Subdivision school.

The 38-year-old Wolford was the running game coordinator and offensive line coach at South Carolina this past season. He is a 1994 graduate of Kansas State.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)