Ole Miss hires MSU DL coach Deke Adams

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Information Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin announced Friday that 24-year coaching veteran Deke Adams has joined the coaching staff as defensive line coach.

Adams, a native of Meridian, Mississippi, spent the 2019 season in the same capacity at Mississippi State. Prior to Mississippi State, Adams served the two seasons as defensive line coach at North Carolina in what was his second stop in Chapel Hill.

A 20-plus year coaching veteran who has played a key role in the development of six NFL draft selections since 2013, including two first-round picks, Adams first joined the UNC staff in 2012 as the defensive line coach under head coach Larry Fedora.

He coached All-American defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, who was selected 28th overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Tar Heels ranked third in the ACC with 97 tackles for loss, and Adams’ group was responsible for 40 of them. Williams and Kareem Martin were one of the ACC’s most dominant defensive line duos, combining for 29 TFLs. Martin ranked third in the conference with 15.5, while Williams finished sixth with 13.5.

Adams spent the 2016 season as East Carolina’s defensive line coach. Prior to ECU, he worked under Steve Spurrier for three years at South Carolina from 2013-15 and helped guide the Gamecocks to a pair of bowl wins in 2013 and 2014.

At South Carolina, Adams coached defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Adams’ unit also featured defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, who was both a first-team All-SEC and All-America choice with Clowney. Quarles and Clowney became the first South Carolina duo since Del Wilkes and James Seawright to earn All-America honors in the same season.

Before his first stop at North Carolina, Adams spent the 2009-11 seasons at his alma mater Southern Miss as defensive line coach on Fedora’s staff. During his first season in Hattiesburg in 2009, Adams inherited a young, but talented unit that improved throughout the season. The Golden Eagle defense finished the season ranked 18th nationally in sacks and 24th in tackles for loss after checking in at 93rd and 68th, respectively, in those two categories a season prior.

Adams’ final season with the Golden Eagles in 2011 saw his front four allow only 112.6 rushing yards per game, which ranked 22nd in the nation. He helped Southern Miss to the Conference USA title and an eventual 12-win season after a Hawaii Bowl win over Nevada.

Prior to Southern Miss, he coached linebackers at Louisiana-Monroe, while also serving as the coordinator of player development. Prior to his time at Louisiana-Monroe, he spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons at North Carolina A&T.

Adams was elevated to interim defensive coordinator during his first season at North Carolina A&T after two games before earning the job on a permanent basis following the final contest. He coached the Aggies’ defensive line in 2006 and had responsibility for the linebackers in 2007 in addition to his coordinator duties.

Adams spent the previous four years at Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) University from 2002-05, coordinating the defense and coaching the defensive line in his last season.

He coached in the junior college ranks at Pearl River (Miss.) Community College from 1998-2002, serving as the linebackers coach during his first three seasons before he was named co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach in addition to his role as recruiting coordinator in 2001.

Adams began his coaching career in 1997 as the defensive line coach at Jacksonville (Ala.) State.

A three-year letterman, Adams played a key role as part of the Golden Eagles’ “Nasty Bunch” defense. He wrapped up his collegiate career in 1994 with 76 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack and one interception. In the classroom, he was a four-year member of the Southern Miss Dean’s List. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and sports administration in 1995 before following with a master’s degree, also from USM, in 1996.

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