Florida will hire South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing, according to several reports from Sunday, most notably one from Football Scoop.
It has not been announced what position Lawing will occupy on Florida's staff, but reports suggest it will be defensive line coach. The departure of Dan Quinn leaves Florida without a defensive ends coach, and Lawing has served as a defensive line coach and nurturer of All-America ends for 20 years: Three at Michigan State, partially under Nick Saban, from 1999 to 2001, and 17 with South Carolina, from 1989 to 1998 and from 2006 to 2012 under Steve Spurrier. Lawing has coached Julian Peterson, Eric Norwood, Melvin Ingram, and, most notably, Jadeveon Clowney, and served as recruiting coordinator at Michigan State, helping the Spartans put together top-20 recruiting classes in his three seasons as the chief recruiter.
Lawing is also only 54, despite his 20 years of college coaching experience, and his hire reminds me strongly of Florida's hire of offensive line coach Tim Davis, who compiled two decades of experience at USC and Utah before Muschamp tapped him in 2012. It also suggests, once again, that Muschamp has learned a lot from his early hires of Charlie Weis and Frank Verducci and his hire of Brent Pease, and has put together a list of candidates for potential openings.
Football Scoop's Scott Roussel (and you should read Bruce Feldman's profile of the schism and rivalry between him and his brother, Coaching Search's Pete Roussel) also hinted that Lawing, who made $300,000 last year at South Carolina, might get a substantial pay bump to grind for Muschamp at Florida.
A coach just called "Can u imagine how much Will must be paying Lawing to leave all that he had at SC?" Working for Will & SS very different— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) January 20, 2013
@mossypirate Both get great results; but go about it differently. Let's just say the guys at UF spend a few more hours in the office— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) January 20, 2013
Muschamp is notoriously hard-working, and demanding of his coaches and staff, something that a source told me became a point of contention between him and Weis, notably, in 2011. Muschamp's hires since are those of a guy going for coaches who are willing to be grinders, and rewarding them handsomely for accepting that responsibility.
Muschamp may also be using the capital from Florida's 11-2 Sugar Bowl season, one that got him an extension from Jeremy Foley, to increase his pool for hiring assistants. Quinn's salary was $510,000 in 2012, and Durkin's was $340,000 as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator; Durkin is obviously due for a raise as defensive coordinator, but unless his salary skyrockets, there will be at least a couple hundred thousand dollars allocated to Quinn and Durkin that won't go to Durkin and should trickle down to Lawing.
But there's also the issue of what is to be done with Bryant Young, whose contract only ran through 2012. Young was responsible for some of the development of Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley, especially in 2012, and had seemed to come into his own as a coach, but he has been somewhat underwhelming on the recruiting trail. If Lawing is Young's replacement as defensive line coach, it makes even more sense for him to be getting a substantial raise to join Florida's staff, as Young made $230,000 in 2012.
We'll have more as more is reported in Lawing's hire, but it seems on its face to be another home run for Muschamp, who is building a staff of excellent coaches with an interest in working for a fantastic program and under a smart head coach.