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South Carolina hires ex-Texas A&M assistant Blackwell as running backs coach

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina hired former Texas A&M assistant Marquel Blackwell as running backs coach, giving him a two-year contract worth $975,000.

Blackwell's hiring was approved by the university's board of trustees Friday. He will receive $400,000 this season and $575,000 in 2025.

He completes the staff for Shane Beamer, who finished his third season as Gamecocks coach. Blackwell takes over for Mario Hardesty, who was not retained by Beamer after three seasons leading the running backs.

Blackwell spent last season with the Aggies. Before that, he was with Ole Miss in 2022 and Houston for three seasons. Blackwell is the second new staff hire from Texas A&M after adding James Coley as receivers coach this month.

Gamecocks tight ends coach Jody Wright became Murray State's head coach this week and Justin Stepp moved from receivers to tight ends.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football