South Carolina Gamecocks defensive line coach Brad Lawing has officially been added to the Florida Gators coaching staff.
Florida announced Tuesday that Lawing will serve as assistant head coach and defensive line coach, sharing the latter job title with current staff member Bryant Young. Lawing will coach defensive ends while Young stays on as an assistant and coaches defensive tackles.
“We are excited to have Brad Lawing join our coaching staff,” said head coach Will Muschamp in a school release. “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.”
A long-time South Carolina assistant, Lawing spent 17 years at the school divided over two separate stints. He first worked for the Gamecocks from 1989-98 as a defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
Lawing then 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 South Carolina defensive front that has been one of the best in the Southeastern Conference recently.
He has never previously worked on the same staff with Muschamp but did serve under Nick Saban for one year at MSU in 1999.
A spot on UF’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.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with Coach Muschamp and the entire Gator coaching staff,” Lawing said in the same release. “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 [Steve] Spurrier provided to me.”
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.
With Lawing’s hiring now official, there are no additional spots open on the Gators’ coaching staff to hire a special teams coordinator. It appears as if Muschamp has decided that Florida will coach special teams by committee, a stark change from how the unit has been managed recently and certainly a risk for a group that has been arguably the best in the nation over the last few years.