Spurrier Adds Lorenzo Ward to Staff
Jan. 12, 2009
Lorenzo Ward has been named defensive coordinator/safeties coach at the University of South Carolina, head coach Steve Spurrier announced today, completing the Gamecocks' coaching staff. Over the past week, Coach Spurrier has hired Eric Wolford as the offensive line coach/running game coordinator, G.A. Mangus as the quarterbacks coach and Craig Fitzgerald as the strength and conditioning coach.
"Lorenzo Ward has been part of some outstanding college defenses," said Coach Spurrier. "He will have the title of defensive coordinator and Ellis Johnson will be the Assistant Head Football Coach/Assistant Coach - Defense. If you look at the resume and coaching achievements of our staff, this is the most impressive staff I've been able to put together," noted the veteran head coach.
Ward, 41, comes to South Carolina after spending one season as the secondary coach on Bobby Petrino's staff at Arkansas. He was on Art Shell's staff with the NFL's Oakland Raiders in 2006.
"First of all, it's a blessing to have the opportunity to work with a great friend of mine in Ellis Johnson," said Ward. "Also having the responsibility of carrying a coordinator title is a huge step to help me some day become a head coach. Working at the University of Arkansas was a great opportunity for me," continued Ward. "Coach Petrino is one of the smartest offensive minds I've been around, which really helped me grow as a defensive coach. I was treated very well at the University of Arkansas, but the opportunity to work with Ellis Johnson and the coordinator title made this opportunity very appealing."
A former player at Alabama, Ward coached the secondary under Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech for seven seasons from 1999-2005, with five of his players earning All-Big East honors and one making the All-Atlantic Coach Conference squad. Virginia Tech led the nation in total defense, was third in pass defense and second in pass efficiency defense in 2005. The 2004 Hokie defense ranked fourth in the nation in both pass defense and interceptions. In 2002, the Hokies led the nation with 24 interceptions. The 2001 defense was No. 2 in the nation in total defense while the 2000 unit was No. 3 in interceptions. The 1999 defense was No. 3 in total defense and No. 7 in pass efficiency defense.
From 1994-99, Ward was an assistant at Tennessee-Chattanooga, including a two-year stint (1998-99) as defensive coordinator and defensive backfield coach. He coached the defensive backs from 1994-96 and the running backs in 1997. He also coached kickoff coverage and the punt team.
Ward played at Alabama from 1986-89, helping the Crimson Tide go 33-15 with an SEC title in 1989. The Sporting News named him Special Teams Player of the Year in 1990 as Alabama's unit was ranked No. 1 in the nation. Ward and Alabama played in the 1986 Sun Bowl, 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl, 1988 Sun Bowl and 1990 Sugar Bowl.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under the tutelage of Ellis Johnson at Alabama in 1991, working with the defensive backs, before going to Newnan (Ga.) High School as an assistant in 1992, where he also coached the track team. He returned to Alabama as a graduate assistant in the fall of 1993, working with the outside linebackers, before going to Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Ward earned his bachelor's in physical education from Alabama in 1991. Married to the former Tara Tubbs, they are the parents of Lorenzo Donovan Ward, Jr.