Carolina Prepares for Palmetto State Showdown
No. 8 Carolina Hosts UAB Saturday
The 2011 Gamecocks finished the season with the nation's third-best rated defense, a unit that surrendered just 268 yards per contest. Aided by a ferocious pass rush, Carolina boasted the nation's second-best pass defense and ranked 11th in the country, allowing just 18.4 points per game. In addition, Carolina forced 32 turnovers. Under his watch, defensive end Melvin Ingram earned first-team All-America honors while Jadeveon Clowney was the SEC Freshman of the Year.
His 2010 squad set the school record for sacks with 41 and helped the Gamecocks put together the league's third-best and nation's 12th-best rushing defense. Defensive end Devin Taylor earned first-team All-SEC recognition.
In 2009, the Gamecocks finished in the upper half of the SEC in every defensive category and were 15th in the country in total defense.
The Gamecocks finished the 2008 season with the 13th-ranked defense nationally. Carolina showed its most improvement in run defense, allowing 133 yards per game, ranking 43rd in the country, after surrendering 209 yards per game on the ground in 2007 while ranking 110th in the nation.
In 2007, Lawing coached Eric Norwood to All-SEC honors. Norwood finished the season with a school-record 19.5 tackles for loss. Ladi Ajiboye was a second-team Freshman All-American.
In 2006, Lawing pieced together a D-line that had no seniors in the rotation and lost its best interior lineman (Marque Hall) to a season-ending injury early in the campaign. Eric Norwood shared the team lead in sacks while earning first-team Freshman All-America honors.
In his prior 10-year stint at South Carolina (1989-98), Lawing tutored the defensive line and served as recruiting coordinator under Sparky Woods and Brad Scott. During his time in Columbia, he helped produce three NFL players in Corey Miller, Gerald Dixon and Henry Taylor, and coached three All-SEC players in Taylor, nose tackle Eric Sullivan and end Stacy Evans. He also recruited defensive end John Abraham, a four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection.
Between his stops at Carolina, Lawing spent four seasons at Michigan State where he served as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. During his tenure, the Spartans led the Big Ten in total defense during the 1999 and 2000 regular seasons. In his first season at MSU, the Spartans led the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally in rushing defense. Lawing also played an integral part in helping MSU assemble one of the nation's top-20 recruiting classes for three-straight years. He was instrumental in the development of four NFL players, including All-America and first-round draft pick Julian Peterson, Robaire Smith, Jace Sayler and Josh Shaw. More recently, Lawing spent three seasons as North Carolina's defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. His three recruiting classes were ranked among the nation's top 25.
Lawing began his college coaching career at Appalachian State. He mentored the defensive line for five years and the tight ends and offensive tackles for one season. Eight of his players earned all-conference honors, including Southern Conference Player of the Year Anthony Downs in 1987 and future NFL players Tommy Dawkins and Mike Frier. Over his final four seasons, the Mountaineers compiled a record of 34-12-2, including back-to-back league championships (1986-87) and consecutive trips to the I-AA playoffs.
A four-year letterwinner in football and a 1979 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne, Lawing earned a master's degree in athletics administration from Appalachian State in 1985. Born in Frankfurt, Germany and raised in Hickory, N.C., Lawing and his wife, Laura, have two grown children.