Deke Adams | East Carolina University

Team: East Carolina University
Organization: NCAA Football
Position: Defensive Line Coach
Hometown: Meridian, Mississippi


Deke Adams, who has played a key role in the development of six National Football League draft picks since 2013, including two first-round selections, will direct the Pirates' defensive line following a three-year tenure on the South Carolina staff.

Following his appointment as the Gamecocks' defensive line coach in 2013, tackle Kelcy Quarles and end Jadeveon Clowney each earned first-team All-America honors under Adams' tutelage. In addition, both players garnered First-Team All-Southeastern Conference selection by the Associated Press and the league's 14 coaches. Quarles led the team with 13.5 tackles for loss, including 9.5 sacks, while Clowney was the first overall pick by the Houston Texans in the 2014 NFL Draft.

One of Adams' top 2015 performers, tackle Gerald Dixon Jr., accepted an invitation to participate in the East-West Shrine Game after completing an 84-tackle career.

Before helping Steve Spurrier's South Carolina program to a pair of bowl wins in 2013 and 2014, Adams spent the 2012 season as Larry Fedora's defensive line coach at North Carolina after serving the three previous seasons in the same capacity under Fedora at Southern Miss.

During his one-year stint in Chapel Hill, Adams had the opportunity to coach All-America tackle Sylvester Williams, a first-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.

In his final year in Hattiesburg, Adams, a former Southern Miss letterman, provided leadership for a front four that allowed just 112.6 rushing yards per game in 2011, which ranked 22nd nationally. He helped the Golden Eagles to the Conference USA title and an eventual 12-win season after a Hawai'i Bowl win over Nevada.

Among the players he mentored at USM were First-Team All-Conference USA end Cordarro Law and 2013 second-round NFL draft pick Jamie Collins.

In his initial campaign at Southern Miss in 2009, Adams inherited a young, but talented unit that progressively improved as the season continued. The Golden Eagle defense finished the year No. 18 nationally in sacks and No. 24 in tackles for loss after standing 93rd and 68th, respectively, in those two defensive categories a season earlier.

Adams came to Southern Miss after spending the previous year as linebackers coach and coordinator of player development at Louisiana-Monroe. Prior to his stint at ULM, he worked for two seasons at North Carolina A&T.

During his first season in Greensboro, Adams was elevated to interim defensive coordinator status after two games before earning the job on a permanent basis following the final contest. He coached the Aggies' defensive line in 2006 and had responsibility for the linebackers in 2007 in addition to his coordinator duties.

Adams spent the previous four years at Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) University, coordinating the defense and coaching the defensive line in his last season (2005).

He began his career in 1997 as the defensive line coach at Jacksonville (Ala.) State before moving on to Pearl River (Miss.) Community College, where he first served as the linebackers coach and later was named co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach. In 2001, he became the defensive coordinator and continued his duties as recruiting coordinator.

A three-year letterman, Adams was a pivotal part of the Golden Eagles' "Nasty Bunch" defense who wrapped up his linebacking career in 1994 with 76 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack and one interception.

In the classroom, Adams was a four-year member of the Southern Miss Dean's List during his time as a student-athlete. 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.

He 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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