COLUMBIA – It’s one thing to be a staffer for an SEC football program, but it’s another to be a position coach — and recruiter — for the same team.
But Kyle Krantz, who cut his teeth in the coaching business as an analyst, found himself thrust into that situation a year ago getting promoted when the NCAA created one more on-field coach in football.
And, one full season into his new gig, the Gamecocks’ coach is growing well into his new role.
“The recruiting was the biggest thing, just getting used to that,” Krantz said. “But it’s been good. We have a great staff of football coaches who want to help, help me be successful and help the organization be successful.”
Krantz, who started his coaching career in the mid-2000s at North Carolina, latched onto Will Muschamp and moved with the now South Carolina head coach to his stops at Florida and as defensive coordinator at Auburn.
He came with Muschamp to South Carolina where he spent two seasons as a defensive analyst before his promotion to working with the nickels and SAM linebackers while helping Coleman Hutzler with the special teams work.
Since he’s an on-field assistant now, a big part of Krantz’s job is recruiting, something he’d only done briefly in a stop a long time ago before Muschamp took him under his wing.
As an analyst he couldn’t do any off-campus recruiting, but now he’s out visiting with prospects and learning what it’s like to recruit to an SEC school.
He’s worked a lot in the Virginia area and made other stops along the way, starting with building relationships and making in-roads with high school coaches there.
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“I liked it, I really did. Probably the biggest thing for me is getting to know my area, getting to know the coaches, know the people in the area that have a good idea about the kids. But building that relationship was probably the hardest part because you didn’t have them. I enjoyed doing it. Recruiting’s been really good.”
The Gamecocks did land a player from Virginia in this class, Jakai Moore, but want to have more a footprint there moving forward as well.
South Carolina is the first stop he’s recruited at since the 2009-10 season when he was linebackers coach at his alma mater Northern Colorado.
The son of a prominent high school in Colorado, Krantz learned how to relate to coaches spending time with his father and said that’s something helping him when he visits with other coaches on recruiting stops.
“The biggest thing is having some emotional intelligence to understand what this high school coach is going through every day and the battles he fights, the things he goes through that maybe we don’t see every day,” Krantz said. “That’s probably the biggest thing.”
Krantz is still learning the ins-and-outs of recruiting at an SEC school in the age of social media, and he’s adjusting quickly as he continues to get out and do more of it during his second year in an on-field role.
He has some good mentors, he said, learning under Muschamp and Gamecock defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson, both known for their abilities to recruit at a high level in the SEC.
While Muschamp’s been at every stop along Krantz’s path, so has Robinson and the two have developed a good mentor-mentee relationship.
“He’s really good,” Krantz said of Robinson. “Throughout my career, he’s really, really taken care of me and helped me grow.
"I’ve been very fortunate to work with him.”