Robert Gillespie is in his third season as a full-time college football coach. He was promoted to the Gamecocks' running backs coach on Dec. 16, 2005, after spending the 2005 campaign as a graduate assistant for video at South Carolina.
In his first season as running backs coach, he saw two of his backs - Cory Boyd (three times) and Taylor Rank (once) - rush for more than 100 yards in a game, and two others, Mike Davis and Bobby Wallace, have games with more than 90 yards on the ground.
Under Gillespie's watch, the South Carolina backs combined to rush for 1,876 yards in 2006, marking a 61 percent increase from the year prior to his appointment as running backs coach for the Gamecocks. South Carolina averaged 144.31 rushing yards per game in 2006, ranking 49th nationally just one year after ranking 108th among Division I-A teams with a 95.17 yards per game average. The increased productivity of the Gamecocks running backs catapulted Carolina's third-down conversion percentage from 34 percent the year prior to Gillespie (95th nationally) to 48 percent his first year (12th nationally).
In 2007, tailback Cory Boyd rushed for 903 yards, the most yards for a Gamecock back since Derek Watson logged 1,066 yards rushing in 2000. Boyd also was selected in the NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs.
A former running back and team captain at the University of Florida, Gillespie played for Steve Spurrier from 1998-2001, earning a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team and SEC Player of the Week recognition during his time with the Gators. Gillespie finished his college career ranking second all-time at Florida in receiving yards by a back. A two-time selection to the SEC Fall Sports Academic Honor Roll in 2000 and 2001, Gillespie returned to Gainesville to earn a degree in sports management from Florida in 2005.
Gillespie played for the NFL's Washington Redskins in 2002 and 2003 and played for the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe in 2003 before taking a teaching job at his alma mater, Hattiesburg HS in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 2004. He stayed on at Hattiesburg HS for an internship in the athletic department in 2005 before making his way to South Carolina.