Adams coached the Gamecocks’ defensive line for the past three seasons, including guiding defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles to All-America honors in 2013. Clowney was the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
A Meridian, Miss., native, Adams came to South Carolina from North Carolina, serving in the same capacity under Larry Fedora in 2012 after moving with Fedora from Southern Miss, Adams’s alma mater. In Adams’s final year with the Golden Eagles, they won the Conference USA, bolstered by a run defense that allowed just 3.3 yards per carry.
After four years as a linebacker at Southern Miss, Adams got his start in coaching as the defensive line coach at Jacksonville State in 1997. He moved to Pearl River Community College after a year to coach linebackers and later became the co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Adams was promoted to Pearl River’s defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator in 2001.
Adams moved to Ouachita Baptist University in 2002 and became defensive coordinator by ’05 while also coaching the defensive line. He coached North Carolina A&T’s defensive line in ’06 and linebackers in ’07 before moving to Louisiana-Monroe to serve as linebackers coach and coordinator of player development. He joined Fedora at Southern Miss after a year with the Warhawks.
Adams now joins Montgomery, who was hired as East Carolina’s head coach earlier this month. Montgomery joined the Pirates after two years as Duke’s associate head coach, offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. He replaced Ruffin McNeill after McNeill was abruptly fired earlier this month following a 5–7 season.