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Lovett expected to be named DC

Just got off the phone about a half hour ago with a high-ranking UM official who has confirmed North Carolina special teams coach John Lovett will be introduced as the Canes' next defensive coordinator later this week.

John Lovett mug Lovett, 58, comes to the Canes a lot like the last guy who was here running the defense -- with a lot of experience. He's played the role of defensive coordinator at four different schools: Bowling Green, Clemson, Auburn and Maine. Most of his experience comes coaching the secondary and outside linebackers.

My question to you is: Do you like it? Lovett? Or hate it? 

Lovett began his coaching career at the high school level in 1976 and has coached as a position coach with the New York Jets, Brown University, UNLV, Cincinnati and at Mississippi from 1995-98, where he first coached under Tommy Tuberville. Lovett eventually left Mississippi with Tuberville for Auburn where he had some success against Steve Spurrier and the Florida Gators. In 2001, Lovett's defense shutdown then No. 1 ranked Florida, holding them 20 points, -36 yards rushing and 328 yards of total offense (all season lows) in an Auburn upset. He then moved onto Clemson where the Tigers became one of the best defenses in the country. In 2002, his defense intercepted 21 passes. He then moved onto Bowling Green before joining Davis' staff as special teams coach.

When I asked one UM official to describe his play-calling I was told "very aggressive." Miami was 28th in total defense (317.46) and 56th in scoring defense (24.1) last season. But they've got a lot of young, talented players including All-ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year Sean Spence at linebacker.

> To be honest, I don't know how to feel about Lovett. To me he looks a lot like Bill Young -- experienced, been around the block and to a lot of different places. Young was just at better schools like USC, Ohio State and Oklahoma. The fact he is also can help with the special teams is a plus (he was named a finalist for Special Teams Coach of the Year0. He certainly looks like a hard worker, too. He played at C.W. Post College and made the team as a walk-on before elevating himself to co-captain by the time he was a senior. 

> On a basketball note, Jack McClinton has been named ACC Player of the Week. He had 32 points in a win over Wake Forest and a season-high 34 in the overtime loss at Duke. It is the third time he's been named the conference's player of the week and the first time this season.


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jmmmm... didn't see that one coming

He looks good to me!

Why is this pal?? What have you heard about Lovett? All I learned about him was on UNC's website.

Posted by: The U | February 09, 2009 at 01:35 PM

Well first he went from being a DC at Clemson to DC at auburn to DC at bowling green, to sec. coach a UNC.(Looks like he was going backwards.) He was fired from auburn where the fans couldn't wait to get rid of him. His secondary was good last season for UNC but I'm not to comfortable with him being our DC.

What do you know? While the rage has been Tommy, I told many that Tommy was just making advice. You know, I was right all along, as his DC comes to UM :)

* i meant went to Aurburn then clemson*

Hmmm...I don't know what to think of it. To tell you the truth, my first feeling is a little of dissappointment. I mean we were talking about Martinez, Tresey, etc. (can't remember the other guy) and I remember reading an article saying Shannon was looking at NFL guys as well. I don't know, what kind of D does he run? Schemes? You mentioned he's like Young, so is he a blitzer?

I'm going to have to read up some more on him.

not an exciting hire would of much rather had the d back coach from the ravens :(

Welcome Coach Lovett.

The name doesn't jump at you, but he has experience & has been successful. So I look forward to seeing his agressessive coaching style with The Canes talent on Defense & Special Teams.

Good job as always Manny...

does this gut fit the ideal mold of someone who will be in the nfl in 3 years = NO

To me, I will wait, it is not an obvious home run proven name that has a lot of name recognition. That does not mean that Lovette is not good. I think, ultimately it will depend on how Lovette evaluates player, and how his way of thinking fits the talent at the U. I wanted a choice from some other DC's but do not feel qualified to give a strong opinion on Lovette,, good job Manny

Guess typepad is not posting everything.
NOt many people's first choice by any means. Will need to wait and see how Lovette's approach fits the talent at the U. Hopefully this guy can use the talent affectively.

sp. effective good job Manny

Is this guy going to put the d in position to make plays.. bill young started out aggressive and seem to be more conservative towards the end.. plus is this guy zone coverage d-cord or man this will be the third scheme some of the players will learn.. i dont know about this hire..

Not feeling it. Lovett is no Bumpas. Average hire.

I see you stay on top of it Manny, great work.

now as johny 5 would say imput moooore imput about this guy

This plus the Whip hire provides Shannon more opportunity to focus on The D.. Which is good.

My only question is... if Lovett was so successful as a DC then why is he just a special teams coach at UNC?????

U got to Lovett! Sounds like a great hire to me, at least he has experience and he is from NC. Now maybe we can beat the Heels for a change?

This guy is prob really hungry to be a DC again...I think with the talent we have his prior experience and "aggressive style" will benefit us...your thoughts?

Is the secondary Lovett's speciality? If so that maybe the reason for the hire, along with Tubb's recommendation? To to a top rated football team the U needs to get its secondary to another level or two higher.

My only question is... if Lovett was so successful as a DC then why is he just a special teams coach at UNC?????

Posted by: bobjohnson | February 09, 2009 at 02:27 PM


Its like he was moving backwards and now we just gave him some life. I want this to work out so i'll just deal wih it but i'd rather have had someone else.

I agree HM....this might not be the big hire everyone thought, but I think Randy brought him in as a assit D coord.....Randy will run the show on D, and this guy will do what he did at UNC....he's also was cheaper then the other guys, who probably wanted to run their own schemes, this guy will work with the D following Randy's direction while Randy oversees the Off, and HC duties......let's see how it plans out, but after RS's history, he makes concise decisions......

He has experience. He also has the best athletes in the country to coach now! Sometimes I think we give these coaches to much credit when they succeed.

Let's not forget that Coker has a national championship ring that he EARNED while he was our coach! You don't luck into undefeated seasons and national championships. Coker, for whatever reason (Willie Williams), tried to go outside the 305 to find his guy's! If he had stayed home for most of his top recruits, he would still be our coach!


Go 'canes!

DA U N Houston. Hit it on the nose.

It looks like Lovett was passed over for DC at NC so he looks very available. Why was he passed over by Butch? Lovett could not have been too happy about that. Lovett looks ok, just a wait and see thing, maybe he will work well with Randy or they think alive for a good mesh?





How come coaches can switch schools within conference without any restrictions placed on them? And what volumes does it speak that we are so much stricter on 18 & 20 year old kids who do the same for a "better" oppurtunity?

There has to be an equal ground on this issue. I really do like Shannon as a person and not so much as a Head Coach but he and the NCAA are displaying a clear Double Standard here and it has to end.

We'll be alright... We're LOADED with talent. We have good DBs, safeties, LBs and okay defensive linemen (DL probably our weakest link, though our latest class will more than likely improve this unit).

We'll be better than last year, assuming Lovett's schemes aren't too difficult to learn, though I see us getting run over by at least one of the running teams, especially those with dual-threat QBs (ie FSU, GaTech, VaTech, NC State). FSU currently has a receiver problem (ie they have none) so we may be able to load up the box to stop the run.

I have a feeling beating GaTech will be a HIGH priority this year (it better be!), so we may pull it off. Plus, we should be a lot better offensively since Nix got nixed, which helps the defense (kind of hard to catch your breath as a defender when your QB is going 3 and out or keeps throwing INTs), and since last year's class will be more experienced and stronger/more athletic. And let's not forget the impact this year's class could have: what are tired defenses going to do when we throw in a fresh Lamar Miller and/or Bryce Brown combination in the 3rd/4th quarter, and maybe even a little Mike James to spice things up. This is IN ADDITION to Cooper, James and Chambers! I'm getting excited just thinking about it!

Welcome to Miami Coach Lovett. I'm NOT convinced that having you is better than having Randy as HC/DC, but we'll see. In Randy we trust.



Well first he went from being a DC at Clemson to DC at auburn to DC at bowling green, to sec. coach a UNC.(Looks like he was going backwards.) He was fired from auburn where the fans couldn't wait to get rid of him. His secondary was good last season for UNC but I'm not to comfortable with him being our DC.

Posted by: miamiboisince85 | February 09, 2009 at 02:03 PM

Agreed. From the looks of his resume, this is a guy that had his chance and blew it. Given our recent history of poor hiring, I'm worried about this one.

I don't like it at all... I definitely preferred Pagano, but at the end of the day, they didn't have enough money to pry him from the Ravens

U guys are already bashing the new DC, that's crazy at least give the man a chance before you throw him under the bus

I think this is a good thing, just for the fact Shannon won't have to pull double duty and be HC/DC


anyone who Butch endorses should be wlcome with open arms. In case you all forgot, we owe everything to that guy for fixing the problems left behind by erickson and company. i love the hire and think that he will do a great job.
lets be honest here, until the end of next season, we will not know if whip or lovett are good hires. we still don't know if shannon was a good hire. its not like coker left us in a good position. the good news, both sides of the ball are loaded and if the players learn what the coaches are teaching, and implement it on the field, we should win 10 games. its funny how V Tech is ranked in the top 5 projected rankings for next year. i think we dominated them last year. the score didn't tell the story and robert the cry baby played the whole game just about.

good thngs are coming. funny how our coordinators never mattered before when we ripped off 37 straight wins. we only focused on the players. we have the same talent on the field now, so don't get caught up on what schemes we are running or who has a head set on on the other side of the white lines.

if we can beat g tech and UNC, we will win the coastal and play fsu for the acc title.

After thinking about it a while, my guess, is that Randy wants to go man to man in the secondary to allow the rest of the talent more latitude to make plays, And Randy feels that Lovett's strengh will allow that to be a good option. You have to give up something on defense to be aggressive in other areas, my guess.

This title should include the word "babysitter" somewhere in there. Sounds to me like Lovett is a new Shannon pawn. Any backlash with Butch? My biggest question is if he's cost effective? Because there's no way Miami is paying this guy the big bucks, and that's definitely fine with me. It's better than going out and hiring some overpaid chump. At least if the guy doesn't do well, there's an excuse.

After the Whipple hire, it is tough to get too excited about this hire, but I agree that he seems solid, that he's more than qualified to be a DC, and that with the talent we have an experienced hand and a good teacher is all that we need. He's that and more, so he should be fine. People get caught up in names, but the vast majority of coordinator hires are promotions, so finding a guy like this that's out there and available is a coup. His defensed always improve when he arrives (according to the article I read), so that's good. Oh, and I LOVE that he's coaching special teams now. Our special teams have stunk for 3 years. Whip hadn't been an OC in years, but we were pshyched about him.

I'd have preferred some of the other names on the list as well, but this guy doesn't seem like a stretch. He seems nice, safe, and solid. That's pretty good.

I think Randy likes the experience of this guy and they can work well together. The defensive front just needs some polish, but the secondary needed a lot of help. This guy seems like he can tighten up the secondary so we can be a complete unit.


All we need is to fire Shannon and then we'll be on our way.

Why is this pal?? What have you heard about Lovett? All I learned about him was on UNC's website.

Posted by: The U | February 09, 2009 at 01:35 PM

Well first he went from being a DC at Clemson to DC at auburn to DC at bowling green, to sec. coach a UNC.(Looks like he was going backwards.) He was fired from auburn where the fans couldn't wait to get rid of him. His secondary was good last season for UNC but I'm not to comfortable with him being our DC.

Posted by: miamiboisince85 | February 09, 2009 at 02:03 PM

Thanks pal for the information. You're right with your observation that it looks like he is moving backwards rather than forward. Let's hope that Coach Shannon has done his homework like he did with Coach Whipple.

I have faith that this was a good hire. Sounds experienced and the fact that he worked with Butch is a plus in my book. He's coming from a highly regarded coach and the biggest plus is how he is also coming from another ACC team so he has experience with our conference as well.

Keep the faith U fans!!

The U - Defining Football Excellence for the Past 25 Years

We are going to WHIPIT!!!!!!!!
We are going to LOVETT!!!!!!!!

Go CaNez!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am not upset or excited about this hire (other than knowing we have the position filled and Shannon can focus on his duties), hopefully it is just b/c I don't know much about Lovett and this ends up being a great fit. But it does strike me as odd that he was not the DC at UNC, does anyone know why? I was on the Pagano bandwagon, but for now am gonna put my faith in Shannon. The next two years are going to be pivotal both for Shannon and the U.

Calm down Cane Nation, Lovett though not as big a name as we all wanted is an excellent hire, because one of the main things his defense's have done through his coaching history is cause turnovers, which also fits the mold of a Shannon run defense (just look at the turnover rankings and scoring rankings of Shannons defenses from 01-06). Also big name hires dont necessarily create create superior defenses. Plus if you look at the past Hurricane Defensive Coordinators outside of Bill Young were unheard of or worked their way up the Hurricane coaching ladder as part of the staff, and made their name as Defensive Coordinators at the U, just look at Tommy Tuberville, Dave Wansteadt (wasnt D Coordinator but was a defensive assistant under JJ), Greg Schiano (Butch took a chance on him as an up and comer), and last but least our Head Coach himself Randy Shannon (who started as a grad assistant coaching defense and eventually worked himself to one of the college defensive minds of the past two decades). With the talent and speed Miami gets each year its kind of hard to mess up a scheme on defense, because it is all reaction and adjustments. So lets let Coach Lovett coach a couple of games before we start saying I dont agree with the hire, or it is a bad hire.


I agree with you on almost everything you say EXCEPT the part about having the same talent now that we had in the early 2000s. HELL NO!!! Not even close. Maybe after 2 more top classes. Sorry. I wish it were true.



Lovett's defense improved statistically every season he was at Clemson and Bowling Green. That's a positive.

He was fired from Auburn and Clemson. That's a negative.

Finally, the main complaints that both Auburn and Clemson fans have had about Lovett is that he is too conservative and makes poor in game adjustments. It's hard to imagine anyone characterizing Lovett as "aggressive."


Was this Randy's first choice? If not, what caused the other candidates to stay or go elsewhere?

It is truly fascinating that, except for one post, there's not a peep on this board about the in-conference transfer of a coach. Isn't Butch Davis worried this guy is going to know his plays and such? One would think a coach would be a bigger problem than a player.

Looks like a double standard ... or maybe just a class act teaching a lesson.


I really wanted Martinez, a UM guy but whatever... we have enough talent to win withj players alone.

The man is experienced and has shown he can perform.....let's all settle down and give the guy a chance to show us what he's got....like it or not, he is our man for 2009, so let's get behind the team. I for one, hopefully will get to see the team finally win at UNC next year....GO CANES!!!!

What are you saying brother? If this guy is not aggressive, then it is no different than Shannon's defenses at Miami, i.e., under Shannon Miami's defenses could not be considered "aggressive" per se -he just had a lot of talent and that made up for the vanilla style of defense that Shannon deployed on the field - we all know that Shannon hardly ever blitzed, nor did he come up with complicated schemes a la Nick Saban - and was slow to make adjustments - he just had better athletes than the offenses that they played and better athletes win over a great coach every time.

I wonder what Coker's resume looks like to the fans of the school where applied for a coaching job in San Antonio? I bet if you would read Coker's resume, e.g., national championship, wins, bowl games and wins, top rated offenses and defenses, special teams, players in the NFL, coaching experience, etc... it would read like he was the next coming of Vince Lombardi or Bear Bryant - yet we all know the truth. So let's all calm down and wait to see how these new coaches do with this program before we go all crazy about their resume and start judging them before they even start coaching. Let's trust Coach Shannon and his people who actually know the coaches and what they can do - we fans can't tell by just reading a resume or by reading an article from a North Carolina newspaper... come on people, stop it - just like we can't tell what a recruit will do on the field just by reading their respective star ratings on Rivals or ESPN... let's wait and see what they can do and then we can all form an informed opinion about each of them - in the end, our opinion of these coaches will be good if the team wins a lot of games, and bad if they play like they've been playing these past few years, everything else is irrelevant. Talent makes coaches look good, whether they are good or not - and we are loading up with talent so my prediction is that in 2 years both of the new coaches will be considered great....

better athletes win over a great coach every time.

Posted by: Canes1 | February 09, 2009 at 04:21 PM


tell the 02' UM football team that
tell the 04' Lakers
tell the 03' Yankees
tell the 08' Patriots

and that's just off the top of my head and in this decade alone and have you ever heard the phrase "that's why they play the games" because the best team doesn't always win

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