South Carolina Gamecocks defensive line coach Brad Lawing will be hired to a similar position with the Florida Gators, according to multiple reports on Saturday originating with one from FootballScoop.com.
As of Monday morning, neither school has confirmed the move, though it was reported over the weekend that Lawing was finalizing his agreement with the Gators.
A long-time Gamecocks assistant, Lawing had spent 17 years at the school divided over two separate stints. He first worked at South Carolina from 1989-98 as a defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
Lawing departed USC and spent four seasons at Michigan State (1999-2002) and three more at North Carolina (2003-05) with the same job description. Upon returning to Columbia, SC, he continued his high level of coaching and led a Gamecocks defensive front that has been one of the best in the Southeastern Conference recently.
A spot on Florida’s staff opened up last week when defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was hired away by the Seattle Seahawks and linebackers coach and special teams coordinator D.J. Durkin was named as a replacement.
Durkin will continue coaching linebackers, which left open coaching positions for defensive ends and special teams.
Lawing will likely coach the entire defenisive line with a focus on the ends, leaving the defensive tackles for current assistant defensive line coach Bryant Young.
Head coach Will Muschamp noted Friday during a press conference that he had “a lot of different avenues to travel down” as it pertained to making his next hire.
“I’ve been in situations where you have a special teams coordinator that coaches everything like D.J. did. I’ve been a part of staffs where we’ve been very successful in special teams where each coach had a part [of the special teams unit to coach]. I’ve been down a lot of those roads. The bottom line is we’re going to find the best fit for the University of Florida, and we’re going to make it work,” he said.
If Lawing’s hiring becomes official, it would appear as if the Gators have decided to coach special teams by committee, a stark departure and certainly a risk for a unit that has been arguably the best in the nation over the last few years.