South Florida hires former Gamecock assistant

TAMPA, JULY 1, 2021 (USF) – USF head coach Jeff Scott today announced the addition of former Gamecock assistant Bobby Bentley to the Bulls’ staff as wide receivers coach and pass game coordinator.

“I’m excited to welcome Bobby Bentley to our coaching staff and know his background, experience and success at both the collegiate and high school level will help make us better, ” Scott said. “I have known Bobby for a long time and he is a great fit for the culture we are building and the players we are developing at USF.”

Bentley joins the USF staff after spending the last five seasons at South Carolina, most recently as tight ends coach. A former head coach at Presbyterian College (2007-08), Bentley was also a highly successful high school head coach and a former high school athletic director in South Carolina and brings 12 years of collegiate coaching experience to Tampa.

Bentley joined Will Muschamp’s staff at South Carolina in 2015, working as the running backs coach in his first three seasons (2016-18) with the Gamecocks before moving to tight ends in his final two campaigns.

In his first season in Columbia in 2016, Bentley developed a pair of freshmen running backs in Rico Dowdle and A.J. Turner into the squad’s top two rushers, combining for over 1,200 yards and part of 78 percent of the rushing yards from freshmen on the year.

In 2018, the Gamecocks produced six individual 100-yard rushing games, including Deshaun Fenwick’s 112-yard performance against Chattanooga, the first freshman to rush for 100 yards in his USC debut since 1999.

Bentley was named one of Rivals Top 25 recruiters for the 2019 class.

In his first season as the tight ends coach in 2019, Bentley mentored Kyle Markway, who was the squad’s third-leading receiver with 31 receptions for 349 yards, along with transfer Nick Muse, who added 17 catches for 158 yards. Muse returned in 2020 to post 30 receptions for 425 yards and a touchdown, the second-leading receiver on the team.

A South Carolina native, Bentley returned to the Palmetto State after two seasons as an offensive analyst at Auburn under Gus Malzahn. During his time at Auburn, Bentley worked with a trio of running backs, Cameron Artis-Payne, Corey Grant and Peyton Barber, all of whom went on to play in the NFL.

Before his stint at Auburn, Bentley was the head coach at James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C. where he was one of the most successful high school coaches in the country. He served as an assistant for the Rebels from 1990-94 before being named head coach in 1995. He compiled a 119-54 record at Byrnes in two stints (1995-2006 and 2013) and won four-consecutive state championships from 2002-05. The Rebels posted a 57-2 record during the title streak run.

Following the team’s fourth state title, Bentley was honored as the 2005 Nike National Coach of the Year. He also was named as the South Carolina Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2006.

Bentley was the Rebels’ head coach for one additional season in 2013, logging a 12-2 record and garnering a Region II-4A title. During his time at Byrnes, Bentley had the opportunity to coach future University of South Carolina great Marcus Lattimore.

Bentley was named head coach at his alma mater, Presbyterian College in 2007, becoming the first NCAA Football Championship Subdivision head football coach in PC’s history.

In his first year at PC, the Blue Hose ranked third nationally in both passing yards and total offense and finished in the top 15 in both scoring and passing efficiency while logging a 6-5 record. In two seasons at Presbyterian, he posted a 10-13 mark. During his time at PC, the Blue Hose set school records in points scored in a season (404), yards in a season (5,290), passing yards in a game (648) and passing efficiency. Bentley also signed and coached NFL Pro Bowl cornerback Justin Bethel.

In 2009, Bentley resigned as the head football coach of the Blue Hose and accepted a new position with Spartanburg School District 5 as the district-wide athletic director and public information officer.

He and his wife, the former Paulette West, are the parents of five children: Chas, Shuler, Jake, Brooks and Emily. Chas is an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Miami; Shuler is an offensive analyst at Coastal Carolina, and Jake is a quarterback at South Alabama.

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