Muschamp adds veteran coach Brad Lawing
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Gators coach Will Muschamp filled the vacancy on his coaching staff Tuesday, hiring veteran South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing.
Lawing was named assistant head coach and will coach the defensive line along with current assistant Bryant Young.
Lawing spent 17 seasons with the Gamecocks over two stints and adds significant knowledge of the Southeastern Conference to Muschamp’s staff. The 55-year-old Lawing returned to South Carolina in 2006 after a three-year stint as defensive ends coach/recruiting coordinator at North Carolina (2003-05) and four seasons as defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator at Michigan State.
He previously spent 10 seasons at South Carolina from 1989-98 and has 29 years experience as a defensive line coach.
While he and Muschamp have never worked together, they do share a common bond in Alabama coach Nick Saban. Muschamp was LSU’s defensive coordinator under Saban and Lawing was on Saban’s final staff at Michigan State in 1999.
"We are excited to have Brad Lawing join our coaching staff," said Muschamp. "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."
The addition of Lawing caps a busy week for Muschamp in the wake of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s departure Wednesday to become defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. Quinn also coached Florida's defensive line.
Muschamp promoted linebackers coach/special-teams coordinator D.J. Durkin to defensive coordinator shortly after news broke of Quinn returning to Seattle. Durkin is expected to continue to coach linebackers and Muschamp said Friday the staff is currently sharing the role of special-teams coordinator.
Lawing arrives in Gainesville after working for former Gators coach Steve Spurrier for the last seven seasons, helping the Gamecocks win their first SEC East title in 2010.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with Coach Muschamp and the entire Gator coaching staff,'' Lawing said. "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."
During Lawing’s time at South Carolina the Gamecocks consistently ranked among the top defensive units in the SEC and usually featured one of the league’s most dominant defensive lines. The Gamecocks led the SEC with 40 sacks in the 2012 regular season, topped by sophomore Jadeveon Clowney’s league-leading 13 sacks.
In 2011 Lawing coached first-team All-American defensive end Melvin Ingram and added Clowney, SEC Freshman of the Year, to the mix. In 2010 South Carolina set a school record with 41 sacks with Lawing coaching the defensive line.
Lawing began his coaching career at Appalachian State and was recently named one of the SEC’s top assistant coaches by ESPN.com.
“One of the more underrated coaches in the SEC, Lawing has been doing it for a long time at a very high level,’’ ESPN.com wrote. “His defensive lines at South Carolina have been excellent the past few years and are one of the big reasons the Gamecocks have made their move into the SEC’s upper tier.”
Lawing played college football at Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) University and later earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from Appalachian State in 1985.