Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert is leaving to become the first head coach of the Charlotte 49ers, a source confirmed on Monday.
This is a significant loss for the Deacs and a great hire by Charlotte, a fledgling program that begins play in 2013. It's a good chance for Lambert to get his first head coaching opportunity, but it leaves Jim Grobe with an important hire to make. The Deacs had switched to the 3-4 defense last season and committed to running it this year. He'll have to hire -- or promote -- somebody with the same philosophy, or switch back to the 4-3. I would be surprised if Grobe deviated from the plan, though, because the 2011 recruiting class was comprised with that defensive scheme in mind.
Lambert coached some of the best defensive players to come through the program in Aaron Curry, Alphonso Smith and Stanley Arnoux. In 2008, Wake had one of the best defenses the program had ever seen. The Deacs held opponents to just 296.7 yards of total offense per game -- the second-best effort by a Wake Forest defense in 41 years.
This move adds to an offseason filled with turnover in the ACC, and much like Frank Beamer's staff, Grobe's is one that doesn't usually see a lot of reshuffling -- unless somebody leaves to become a head coach.