Atlanta Falcons Hire Louisville OC/OL Coach Dwayne Ledford as OL Coach

He is the third Cardinals assistant coach to depart this offseason.
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Photo of Dwayne Ledford: Alton Strupp/Courier Journal)

ATLANTA - A third member of the Louisville football program's offensive coaching staff is on the move, and this time, it’s to the NFL.

Offensive coordinator/offensive coach Dwayne Ledford, who was one of several assistant coaches to join head coach Scott Satterfield's staff when he was hired after the 2018 season, has been hired as the offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons, the organization announced Friday.

It is part of a flurry of coaching changes made by the Falcons this offseason, including firing head coach Dan Quinn and bringing in Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to lead the charge. Ledford was an assistant coach at North Carolina in 2005, when Smith was a senior on the Tar Heels’ offensive line.

Since coming over from NC State as the Wolfpack's offensive line coach prior to the 2019 season, the Cardinals have sported one of the top offenses in the Atlantic Coast Conference under Ledford. In his first year, Louisville's 447.3 yards and 33.4 points per game were top 30 marks in FBS, with the latter second in the ACC only to Clemson.

While the scoring in 2020 took a bit of a tumble thanks to turnovers, Louisville still averaged 444.2 yards per game, which was 29th in FBS and fourth in the ACC.

Ledford has been regarded as one of the top offensive line coaches in the nation. He has been nominated for the Broyles Award three times, which is given to the top assistant coach in college football, including in 2019 with Louisville. He has also groomed back-to-back first round NFL Draft picks, with Louisville’s Mekhi Becton going No. 11 overall to the New York Jets last year, and NC State’s Garrett Bradbury going No. 18 overall to the Minnesota Vikings in 2018.

Ledford joins running backs coach Norval McKenzie and quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce as Louisville assistant coaches to depart the program this offseason. McKenzie was hired to the same position at his alma mater of Vanderbilt, and Ponce took the offensive coordinator job at Appalachian State. It is reported that ECU running backs coach De’Rail Sims will replace McKenzie, and a successor has yet to be named for Ponce.

Louisville ended the 2020 season at 4-7 overall and 3-7 in the ACC.

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