Deke Adams | Florida International University

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Team: Florida International University
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Defensive Line Coach
Hometown: Meridian, Mississippi


Deke Adams was hired as an assistant coach for FIU football in February of 2021. Adams oversees the defensive line unit and will serve as the run game coordinator.

Adams, who coached eventual No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina, will make his way to FIU and look to rebuild the defensive line. Adams has made stops at North Carolina, East Carolina, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Mississippi State and most recently Ole Miss in 2020.

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 also 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.

In addition to his prominent stops, Adams has also coached as an assistant at Louisiana Monroe (2008), North Carolina A&T (2006-07), Ouachita Baptist (2002-04) and Pearl River Community College (1998-02). Adams began his coaching career in 1997 as the defensive line coach at Jacksonville (Ala.) State.

A native of Meridian, Mississippi, and a former standout linebacker at Southern Miss, 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.
Adams is married to the former Alexis Hall, a member of the 1,000-point club and four-year letterwinner for the Southern Miss women’s basketball team. The couple has two boys, Jaylen and Jordyn.

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