WKU Spring Game: White 28-21 over Red

Western Kentucky defensive coordinator Clayton White calls out instructions during the spring game April 13, 2019, at Houchens-Smith Stadium.

Clayton White has accepted the defensive coordinator position at South Carolina, a source told the Daily News on Saturday.

White has served as Western Kentucky’s defensive coordinator the last four seasons and was a Frank Broyles Award nominee three of the last four seasons (2017, 2019 and 2020). The Frank Broyles Award is presented to the nation’s top assistant coach.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because the move has not yet been announced, said White has accepted the defensive coordinator position at South Carolina, after recently turning down the defensive coordinator position at Purdue. He also turned down the same position from Memphis a year ago, according to the source. Head coach Tyson Helton will promote Maurice Crum to be WKU’s new defensive coordinator, according to the source. Crum has served as linebackers coach the last four years, and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator ahead of the 2020 season.

The news was first reported by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, and was also reported by Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and The Athletic and Adam Rittenberg of ESPN. Feldman also reported Crum would take over duties as the Hilltoppers’ defensive coordinator.

WKU had the fifth-best scoring defense in Conference USA this season, allowing 25.3 points per game, and the fifth-best total defense at 348.7 yards allowed per game. The Hilltoppers’ scoring defense ranks 41st nationally and its total defense ranks 28th. WKU’s pass defense is where it really shined, finishing second in the league and eighth nationally by allowing just 177.3 yards per game through the air. The Hilltoppers finished 5-7 with a loss to Georgia State in the LendingTree Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

The Hilltoppers posted their best scoring defense in the program’s FBS era in 2019, allowing just 20.1 points per game. It was the top mark in C-USA, the 22nd-best in FBS and the best the program has seen since 2004. The Hilltoppers also had the 2019 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in DeAngelo Malone. WKU ranked 24th nationally in total defense at 335.5 yards allowed per game and 28th in pass defense at 200 yards passing allowed per game. WKU went 9-4 in 2019 and won the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl.

Prior to coming to WKU, the Dunn, N.C., native served as co-special teams coordinator and safeties coach at North Carolina State from 2013-16 – the same school where he played linebacker from 1997-2000. White played professionally for the New York Giants (2001-02) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2003). Before NC State, White was special teams coordinator and running backs coach at Connecticut from 2011-12, co-special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach at WKU in 2010, defensive backs coach at Stanford from 2007-09, defensive backs and special teams coach at Western Michigan in 2006 and defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Western Carolina from 2004-05.

South Carolina finished the 2020 season 2-8. Shane Beamer was announced as the Gamecocks’ 36th head coach on Dec. 6.{&end}

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit bgdailynews.com.

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