Lorenzo Ward Named New South Carolina Defensive Coordinator

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Steve Spurrier of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after defeating the Clemson Tigers 34-13 at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Steve Spurrier has named Lorenzo Ward as permanent defensive coordinator, spurning Mike Stoops.

South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier announced Tuesday that Lorenzo Ward will be the team's permanent defensive coordinator, coaching not just the Capital One Bowl but moving forward into the 2012 season.

"We don't have an interim defensive coordinator any more, we have a full-time (coordinator). 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."

Ward has technically held the title of defensive coordinator since 2009 but assistant head coach Ellis Johnson was the one actually running the defense. Johnson was hired last Tuesday as the new head coach at Southern Mississippi.

Former Arizona Wildcats coach Mike Stoops had been rumored as the choice for DC but Spurrier decided to reward one of his guys instead. Ward led the USC defensive secondary to an improvement from 97th in passing defense to 2nd nationall (133 yards allowed per game).

For more on the Gamecocks, visit Garnet And Black Attack.

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