COLUMBIA -- After longtime assistant Brad Lawing made the decision on Sunday to leave Columbia for Gainesville and join Will Muschamp's staff at Florida, Steve Spurrier and Lorenzo Ward hoped to move quickly to find a quality replacement.
Move swiftly they did, as the job was offered Monday to North Carolina assistant Deke Adams and accepted. Speaking with GamecockCentral.com, the former Southern Miss defensive lineman detailed the whirlwind process.
"I got a call Sunday night just asking about interest and really talking with a coach on the staff I'm friends with, trying to gauge my interest," he said. "From that point on, it just kind of took off. The next thing I know, I'm on the phone with Coach (Steve) Spurrier after he talked with Coach (Larry) Fedora. It moved so fast that I couldn't keep up with what was going on. It was like 'wow, it's done.'"
Adams: "South Carolina is a great place."
The timeline was obvious and the opportunity evident, but Adams still took some time (albeit rapidly) to get input from those closest to him: his family.
"I definitely wanted to discuss things over with my wife and my boys but we knew with the timetable things had to be done pretty quick so it had to be quick and efficient conversation," he explained. "We do things as a family and communicate as a family and this was a family decision."
What did he see in the South Carolina program that convinced him to take the job?
"I just think it's a great opportunity to coach some of the best players in the country and have a chance to play in a great conference," he said. "I just think South Carolina's a great place. I have friends on the staff that are great friends of mine. I think it's a perfect fit. Coach Spurrier's a great coach and been around the business a long time. It's a great fit and I'm excited about it."
Two of USC's current assistants have connections to Adams from his time at Southern Miss.
"I knew Grady (Brown) a little bit before that (USM). We really connected and developed a relationship as friends and all when he joined our staff at Southern Miss. I know Coach Joe Rob (Joe Robinson), he actually coached me my senior year at Southern Miss. There's a long line of history with Coach Joe Rob, I've known him for a while."
Admittedly, Adams said that telling North Carolina's head man he was taking another job was no easy task. The two worked together for several years.
"It was hard for me because I've been with Coach Fedora for four years now. He's been really good to me and my family and really good to us over the four years," Adams said.
"I think there was a little shock. I think it was more of a timing deal. There's never really an ideal time. Obviously in recruiting things get tough and things happen. I know for a fact South Carolina's in on some great players we're closing on too. Players want to know their coaches and develop the relationship. It was just a deal that had to be done. I have a great amount of respect for Coach Fedora and he's done a lot of good things. I have a great amount of respect for guys on that staff. Ultimately, it was the best decision for me and my family."
From 1991-94, Adams was part of a Southern Miss defensive front known as "The Nasty Bunch", although he refuses to take credit for the name.
"The Southern Miss family has adopted that name for any great defense that comes through there. It was developed in the '70s and '80s," he said. "I was fortunate enough to play on some great defenses with some great players that played a lot of years in the NFL. That was around long before me."
The disposition that Adams and his teammates played with years ago has helped shape his coaching style. What he made clear however, was that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to developing talent.
"I am an intense coach, but I also understand that kids have different personalities," he said. "You're not going to reach all kids the same way. You have to be able to adjust to how you coach them. Not really change yourself or your style, but just adjust. Certain buttons cause certain kids to react certain ways. You have to learn what buttons are the right ones."
At South Carolina, Adams will have the chance to coach All-American Jadeveon Clowney, which is a task he is happy to take on beginning in the spring.
"Every defensive line coach in the country would want to coach a player of his caliber," he said. "There's no question about that. I'm excited about having the opportunity to coach him."
Adams will most likely begin work on Wednesday at South Carolina, and as soon as possible will hit the recruiting trail. He went into detail on what he will bring to the table in that department.
"Yeah, I love recruiting. I love meeting different people and understanding people and getting to know different people. My main philosophy is - I have a 13- and a 16-year-old. If they're ever blessed enough to have the opportunity to go through this process, I would like for people to be open and honest and handle things the right way," he said. "I feel like that's the best way to recruit. I'm honest with kids and families and moms and dads and I don't believe in getting in all the other issues. My goal is to promote the University of South Carolina and show what it can do for you and go from there."
As for goals and ambitions during his time at South Carolina whether immediate or long time, Adams kept things simple.
"The biggest thing is just come in and blend in with the staff and get to know some of the guys on staff that I don't know, then from that point on," he said. "Obviously the d-line playing up to their best ability and do whatever is needed."