Friday, January 13, 2012
South Carolina adds Joe Robinson to staff
By Edward Aschoff
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier announced Friday that Joe Robinson will be the Gamecocks' new special teams coordinator and tight ends coach.
Robinson, who was the 2010 FootballScoop Special Teams Coordinator of the Year, joins South Carolina's staff after one season as North Carolina's defensive line coach.
He replaces John Butler, who left South Carolina this week to join Penn State's staff.
“We are pleased to announce Joe Robinson as our special teams coach,” Spurrier said. “He has many years of experience and his special teams had the No. 1 overall ranking in the SEC in 2009. Our special teams will be in good hands under coach Robinson, and we look forward to having him and his family become Gamecocks.”
Before arriving at North Carolina, Robinson spent three seasons as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at LSU. In 2010, the Tigers finished in the top 13 nationally in net punting, kickoff return average and punt return average. In 2009, LSU's special teams combined to rank No. 1 overall in the SEC, as the Tigers led the league in both kickoff coverage (44.5 net average) and punt returns (18.9). LSU was the only team in the league to rank among the top three in the conference in four special teams categories.
“I’m excited to be here and thankful to become part of Coach Spurrier’s staff,” Robinson said. “He’s done a great job with this program and my family is excited about this opportunity.”
Robinson's hire still leaves two vacancies on Spurrier's staff. He still has to find a replacement for running backs coach Jay Graham, who left for Tennessee, and must find someone to coach linebackers, now that defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson is the head coach at Southern Miss. Lorenzo Ward was promoted to defensive coordinator and will coach cornerbacks.
A few names to keep an eye on to coach South Carolina's linebackers are former Arkansas assistant Kirk Botkin and current Tennessee defensive line coach Lance Thompson, who coached linebackers in the past.
Air Force running backs coach Desmont Kitchings could also be looked at for the running backs job. He served as Vanderbilt's running backs coach from 2008-10, and offensive coordinator in 2010.