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Shane Beamer and Oklahoma? National reports suggest it’s a possibility

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Oklahoma is less than 24 hours into its search to replace Lincoln Riley, and several names are gaining traction in national reports as viable options to coach the Sooners: South Carolina’s Shane Beamer is among them.

247Sports, citing sources, went as far as saying Beamer — a former OU assistant — is a “prime candidate” for the Oklahoma coaching job.

“Sources say the belief Beamer can maintain Oklahoma’s current roster and provide immediate coaching stability in Norman are the primary reasons the Sooners would be interested,” 247Sports national writer Brad Crawford wrote about Beamer’s possible candidacy.

Beamer just wrapped up his first season at South Carolina and came to Columbia after three seasons working as an assistant under Riley at Oklahoma. He led the Gamecocks (6-6) to a bowl game after the program won six games total over the previous two seasons.

Beamer makes $2.5 million annually as the Gamecocks coach. Riley was making almost $8 million a year with Oklahoma.

“By all accounts, Beamer loved his time in Norman, and if the price is right, he could be willing to double back to the Sooner State,” according to another published report by 247Sports’ OU Insider website as part of its candidate “hot board.”

Beamer was an assistant head coach under Riley and coached tight ends from 2018-20 at Oklahoma. He played a key role in the Sooners’ recruiting push in the ‘DMV’ (Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) hotbed, listed as the primary recruiter for 2021 five-star Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams out of D.C.

Williams took the reins at Oklahoma in 2021, completing 62.5% of his passes for 1,670 yards, 18 touchdowns and four interceptions as a freshman. Sooner quarterback Spencer Rattler, who lost the starting job to Williams, announced Monday that he would enter the transfer portal, one day after Riley’s departure to USC.

SportsLine listed Beamer with 11-1 odds of being the next Oklahoma coach, which was ninth overall behind the leaders Brent Venables (4-1), Lane Kiffin (5-1) and Mark Stoops (5-1).

Fox college football analyst R.J. Young listed Venables No. 1 and Beamer No. 2 on his own “wish list” of coaching possibilities to replace Riley.

Oklahoman sports columnist Barry Tramel, a respected voice in the Oklahoma sports scene, said Monday on the Dan Patrick Show that he’d put Beamer at the top of the list to be the next head coach for the Sooners.

Tramel called Beamer “impressive” and suggested he’d be the coach if he were still on Oklahoma’s staff. The Oklahoman mentioned Beamer in its first list of five possible names to replace Riley.

Columbia radio personality Heath Cline of 107.5-FM said in a tweet Monday that Tramel’s credentials give a level of credence to the speculation around Beamer’s possible interest in the Oklahoma job.

“Does Shane Beamer’s name being brought up in speculation for Oklahoma mean he’s the guy or that he’d even answer the phone when they call? Not necessarily. But people responding to a guy with @BerryTramel‘s cred mentioning him as a serious possibility by dismissing it are wrong,” Cline tweeted.

Beamer and his South Carolina coaching staff are on the road recruiting this week ahead of the Dec. 15 early signing day. He’s not expected to address the local media until Sunday at the earliest when the Gamecocks learn their bowl destination.

Beamer squashed early speculation he’d be interested in the Virginia Tech job opening on Nov. 14 after Justin Fuente’s firing. The son of College Football Hall of Fame and former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, Shane played for the Hokies in college and grew up in Blacksburg, Virginia.

When asked about the Virginia Tech position, Shane Beamer doubled down on comments he’s made in the past about South Carolina being his “dream job.”

“This where I want to be,” Beamer said Nov. 14. “When I said this was my dream job, I wasn’t just saying that to make it sound cool in a press conference or to get the job. This is where my wife and I, my family, want to be. We didn’t put that sign up at Williams-Brice Stadium that says, ‘Welcome Home,’ just because it was trending in a slogan. This is home for me. I want to be the head football coach here at South Carolina.

“I love working with for (athletic director) Ray Tanner and (senior deputy athletic director) Chance Miller. They are fantastic and we have an amazing relationship. I love this state. I want to live in this state. I love the city. I want to live in the city. I told our team a couple of weeks ago my son Hunter — he’s in second grade — I want him to graduate high school from here in Columbia. This is where I want to be.”

Oklahoma is expected to join the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2025, along with Texas.

— The State’s Dwayne McLemore contributed to this story

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