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<p>Coach Will Muschamp stands on the field during Florida's 33-23 loss to Louisville on Jan. 2.</p>

Coach Will Muschamp stands on the field during Florida's 33-23 loss to Louisville on Jan. 2.

Less than one week after defensive coordinator Dan Quinn left the Gators for the NFL, coach Will Muschamp has filled out his staff.

Florida hired defensive line coach Brad Lawing from Southeastern Conference rival South Carolina on Tuesday. Lawing will serve as assistant head coach and work alongside Bryant Young as co-defensive line coach.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with coach Muschamp and the entire Gator coaching staff,’’ Lawing said in a statement. “Coach Muschamp and I share the same philosophical beliefs defensively.”

Lawing spent 17 years on the Gamecocks’ staff in two different stints, the second of which began in 2006. Other stops during his coaching career include Michigan State, North Carolina and Appalachian State.

Lawing has coached three All-America defensive linemen in his career: Julian Peterson of the Spartans and Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney of the Gamecocks. Peterson and Ingram were both first-round NFL draft selections.

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said during a December teleconference that if Clowney was eligible for this year’s draft, the sophomore would be the No. 1 overall pick.

Lawing also recruited four-time Pro Bowler John Abraham to play at South Carolina.

“His track record speaks for itself,” Muschamp said of Lawing in a statement. “His nearly three decades of experience coaching defensive linemen, his familiarity with the SEC and our shared philosophical beliefs make him a perfect fit for our program.”

Muschamp added Lawing to his staff only six days after Quinn accepted an offer to become the Seahawks defensive coordinator. The position opened up when Gus Bradley took the Jaguars head-coaching job on Jan. 16.

Muschamp promoted special teams coordinator D.J. Durkin to defensive coordinator shortly after Quinn signed a three-year deal with Seattle reportedly worth $5.7 million. 

“Part of my job is anticipating when things are going to happen,” Muschamp said on Friday. “Obviously, with Dan’s relationship with the Seattle organization, I knew when Gus Bradley got a job there would be interest on their part and possibly some interest on his part.”

When Quinn received the call, Muschamp acted quickly and tabbed Durkin. Muschamp said 

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promoting UF’s third-year special teams coordinator will help maintain stability in the Gators’ defensive scheme.

“(Durkin) understands everything, and our system’s pretty good,” Muschamp said.

“We’re going to continue to be really good. [Quinn] had never called defenses two years ago until he showed up at Florida, and he did a pretty good job in two years. And D.J. hasn’t either, and we’re going to be good. We’re going to be fine with that.”

While Durkin’s promotion was convenient, Muschamp picked the 35-year-old coach to replace Quinn for the same reasons he elected to retain Durkin from former UF coach Urban Meyer’s staff.

“[Durkin] is very bright, smart, energetic (and) does a great job with our players,” Muschamp said on Friday. “Obviously, you see the results he had on special teams. They’re outstanding. Great teacher. He sees the big picture of the game and understands what it takes to be successful.”

Contact Joe Morgan at joemorgan@alligator.org.


Coach Will Muschamp stands on the field during Florida's 33-23 loss to Louisville on Jan. 2.

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