Most head coaches place a high level of importance on the people around them being “their guys.” Perhaps nowhere is that more true right now than with Dave Clawson and the Wake Forest football program.
On Friday, Wake Forest announced two staff changes. With that, the Deacons quietly ushered out the final major piece of the Jim Grobe era.
The notable move was the hiring of Brad Sherrod as linebackers coach. Dave Cohen will continue to coach the defensive line, new defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel will coach cornerbacks and Lyle Hemphill the safeties.
Clawson also announced that Cohen will be the “defensive run game coordinator,” perhaps as a reward for the only defensive coach still remaining from last season.
Sherrod, who was an All-ACC linebacker at Duke in the early ‘90s, was the defensive coordinator at Sam Houston State last season. Although the Bearkats went 12-1, Sherrod’s defense finished 103rd out of 122 FCS teams in yards allowed per game. In his previous stint as defensive coordinator at Elon in 2013, his squad finished No. 110 out of 122. His coaching career has also led him through Massachusetts and East Tennessee State, before landing back at Duke.
Sherrod was an assistant with the Blue Devils from 1997-2008, coaching linebackers for the first nine. He also gained experience coaching tight ends and running backs in Durham.
It was at Delaware where Sherrod crossed paths with Hemphill for a season.
The smaller piece of news from Friday was that Taylor Redd would be taking over for Warren Belin as director of recruiting. Redd is a Clawson guy. Belin was a Jim Grobe hire.
Although he’s young, Redd has been with Clawson since 2010, first as a student assistant at Bowling Green. When he graduated in 2013, he moved to Wake Forest, where he’s been an operations and recruiting assistant and a graduate assistant working with receivers.
With Belin and Derrick Jackson leaving the staff, and longtime football assistant athletic director Bill Faircloth retiring, it’s difficult to find many holdovers from the previous staff, even down to the equipment manager.