It didn’t take South Carolina long to find a replacement for outgoing defensive line coach Brad Lawing. In fact, it took less than 24 hours. North Carolina D-line coach Deke Adams is set to jump from one Carolina to the other… and to jump at a chance to work with All-Everything Gamecock defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Adams moved to UNC for the 2012 season along with Larry Fedora from Southern Miss. The former Golden Eagle player had been on the staff in Hattiesburg for the three seasons prior. Before that, he’d coached below the FBS ranks.
“Everything just kind of happened real fast, to be honest with you. I got a call (from defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward), and then from that point on, it took off. The next thing you know, it was over. It just went really fast. (Ward) and I, we’ve known each other for a little while, too…
Coach Fedora has been great. He’s been great to me and my family. I’ve enjoyed my time with him. It was a great opportunity for me and my family (at South Carolina). I get a chance to coach one of the best defensive players in the country. I’m excited about that…
I haven’t really studied him or anything like that. I’ve watched him when I had a chance to see him on TV. He’s probably the most dominant defensive lineman in the country right now. My goal is to definitely get in there and coach him up, but at the same time not mess him up. I’m excited to have a chance to coach him.”
Carolina fans have to like Adams’ admission that he doesn’t want to mess up his new protege. It’s one thing to coach Clowney and add to his abilities, but changing too much of what’s worked for him is a danger. Adams appears to realize that from the get-go.
As for Adams’ new boss, we weren’t particularly impressed with Ward’s comments regarding the departure of Adams’ predecessor. Lawing will coach defensive ends at Florida under newly promoted defensive coordinator DJ Durkin. He’s also been named assistant head coach. But rather than simply saying, “We wish Lawing luck moving forward,” (as most bosses in his business would do), Ward uttered these words:
“Brad’s reason to leave here was way beyond football, and that’s between him and his family.”
Well, no, not anymore it’s not. Ward should be flagged for unnecessary verbiage.
By making the above statement he opened the door for fans and media to speculate as to why Lawing and his family wanted to move. Ward was also quoted as saying: “It became (about) a little more than football. He felt like he and his family needed a new start. That’s what they’re going to do. I think at this point in his career, money is always an issue, especially when you’re getting close to an age when you’re trying to make as much as you can (before retirement). But I think it had to do with a lot more than money.”
So at least twice Ward hinted that something is up behind the scenes with Lawing’s and his family.
Sorry, but that’s out of bounds. In a profession where coaches move time and again, there was absolutely no need for South Carolina’s defensive coordinator to give any explanation at all for an underling’s departure. “He was looking for a new opportunity,” would have sufficed if pressed. Heck, Ward himself has bounced around from Chattanooga to Virginia Tech to the NFL to Arkansas and to Carolina. Here’s guessing his ex-bosses didn’t get into his rationale for leaving.
Ward should have piped down, been the bigger man, and hired the next guy. At least he got the last part right.