When Deke Adams got a call Sunday evening, he had no idea he would have a new job by the next day.
“I got a call asking if I had some interest in the job. Obviously, I did, and from that point it took off,” said Adams, who was hired Monday to coach South Carolina’s defensive line. “By the time it started, it was finished.”
The school announced the move Tuesday, officially ending Adams’ one season at North Carolina.
“Yeah, it was quick,” Adams said Tuesday from North Carolina, where he was finalizing things before officially beginning at South Carolina on Wednesday. “Sometimes it happens that way. I am excited about it, and I’m excited to get there and get started.”
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Adams spent three seasons at Southern Miss before coaching the defensive line at North Carolina and also lettered on the Golden Eagles’ defense from 1991-1994, and it’s those connections that helped get him his newest job. Adams coached with South Carolina secondary coach Grady Brown at Southern Miss, and he was coached by Gamecocks special teams coordinator Joe Robinson while a player at Southern Miss.
“Several of our coaches are very familiar with Deke, having coached with him previously,” South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said in a statement released by the school. “He has an excellent track record both as a player and as an assistant coach. He has a lot of experience coaching the defensive line, and in recruiting the state of North Carolina and other parts of the South. He and his family will be an excellent addition to our coaching staff.”
Adams will not try to woo any of the players he was recruiting for North Carolina to come to Columbia, he said.
“Coach Spurrier and I talked about that,” Adams said. “He believes in the same thing that I believe in that aspect.”
Adams is excited but not overwhelmed by the prospect of coaching rising junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney next season, he said.
“I have seen him play a couple of times. He is definitely a great athlete, there is no question about it,” Adams said. “I want to help him continue to get better. I’ve lived by the philosophy there is always room for improvement. You are either getting better or you are getting worse.”
Adams believes in an aggressive style of defense and will work within the framework of South Carolina’s current system, he said.
“It’s not like I’m going into a situation where they haven’t been successful,” he said. “I just want to come in and add something to that.”
Adams replaced Brad Lawing, who left Sunday after 17 years in two different stints at South Carolina to join SEC East rival Florida.
“Brad Lawing did an excellent job here for the last seven years,” Spurrier said. “He’s a good coach, and we appreciate everything he did for the Gamecocks. We wish him all the best.”
Lawing was announced Tuesday as Florida’s assistant head coach. He also will share defensive line coaching duties with current Gators assistant Bryant Young.
“I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with Coach (Will) Muschamp and the entire Gator coaching staff,'' Lawing said in a statement released by Florida. “Coach Muschamp and I share the same philosophical beliefs defensively. I've enjoyed the many years I've had in South Carolina and I'm grateful for the opportunities Coach Spurrier provided to me."
Lawing left South Carolina for reasons that were “way beyond football,” South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said.
“We are excited to have Brad Lawing join our coaching staff," Muschamp said in a statement. “His track record speaks for itself -- his nearly three decades of experience coaching defensive lineman, his familiarity with the SEC and our shared philosophical beliefs make him a perfect fit for our program.”