Spurrier Names Ward Defensive Coordinator
Dec. 27, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla - The University of South Carolina football team arrived in Orlando Tuesday afternoon, as they ready for Monday's Capital One Bowl against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Gamecocks will enter the bowl game with a 10-2 record, while the Huskers, out of the Big Ten Conference, are 9-3.
Head coach Steve Spurrier made news on Tuesday by announcing that Lorenzo Ward will be the team's "permanent" defensive coordinator, not just for the bowl game but for the 2012 season. "We don't have an interim defensive coordinator any more, we have a full-time (coordinator)," said Coach Spurrier. "Lorenzo Ward is our defensive coordinator here at South Carolina. He's the best guy I could hire. That's why I've hired him. He knows what we want to do. He and I think almost exactly alike defensively. We've talked a lot of defense over the last two or three years and he knows how to coach it and we agree on how to coach it. So he's going to be our guy, hopefully for several years, and he's certainly the full-time guy as we go through the bowl game and next year and so forth. I felt like I was going to do it anyway, and I felt like we needed to do it right now."
"It's a blessing that Coach Spurrier feels the way he does about me and I'm excited about it," said Ward. "Coach Spurrier announced it to the team just a few seconds ago and they were excited, so it made me feel good that the players wanted me to have this title. I never really went to (Coach Spurrier). We visited and he came to me and said if Ellis (Johnson) isn't at practice, you need to control the practice, and it went from there. I spent seven years in the 4-2-5 defense at Virginia Tech, so the defense will stay very similar to what it is. I feel confidence in my ability to coach. We've had good practices and the guys really responded to me, so I feel good about it. I'm excited to have the opportunity."
The Gamecocks will hold their first practice in Florida on Wednesday at Celebration High School beginning at 11 a.m.