UNC Football Announces Deke Adams, Terry Joseph Hires

Larry Fedora has filled two defensive staff positions.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora officially announced the hirings of Deke Adams and Terry Joseph to his staff on Wednesday.

Adams, who was a member of Larry Fedora’s initial coaching staff at North Carolina, replaces Tray Scott, who left for Mississippi this offseason. Adams coached the UNC defensive line in 2012 and also spent three years with Fedora at Southern Miss from 2009-11.

“We’re excited to bring Deke and his family back to Chapel Hill,” Fedora said in a statement. “Obviously, I have a lot of familiarity with Deke from his previous time with us at Southern Miss and UNC, and he’s proven to be an outstanding coach and recruiter. His knowledge of our recruiting area will be a tremendous benefit as we move forward.”

Joseph, who spent the last three seasons at Texas A&M, has been hired as North Carolina’s defensive backs coach. He fills the staff void left by Charlton Warren's departure to Tennessee.

“Terry is an excellent football coach and outstanding recruiter who has a wide range of experience working with Power 5 programs throughout the country,” Fedora said. “He has coached some outstanding defensive backs, and was on the same staff with John Papuchis when Nebraska had one of the best pass defenses in the country. It’s a pleasure to welcome Terry and his family to Chapel Hill.”


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, spent the 2016 season as East Carolina’s defensive line coach. Prior to ECU, he worked under Steve Spurrier for three years at South Carolina and helped lead the Gamecocks to a pair of bowl wins in 2013 and 2014.

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.

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. The Tar Heels went 8-4 that season and tied for first in the ACC Coastal Division.

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 went 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.


Terry Joseph tutored an Aggies’ pass defense in 2015 that ranked No. 4 nationally in passing yards allowed per game and No. 18 in pass efficiency defense. Another highlight was the successful transition of lifelong running back to cornerback made by Brandon Williams in 2015. Williams was picked in the third round of the NFL Draft the following spring. In 2016, Joseph coached All-SEC strong safety Justin Evans who earned National Player of the Week honors for his performance against UCLA and was a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award.

From New Orleans originally, Joseph coached at two high schools in the state of Louisiana for seven years before moving on to serve collegiate stints at LSU, Louisiana Tech, Tennessee and Nebraska.

In his two seasons at Nebraska from 2012-13, the Cornhusker secondary ranked among the best in the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA.

In 2012, the Cornhuskers led the FBS in pass defense and ranked No. 2 in pass efficiency defense. During the 2012 regular season, Joseph’s secondary unit held opponents under 50.0 completion percentage. In 2013, the Cornhuskers again ranked among the nation’s stingiest. NU allowed just 54.1 completion percentage and the 210 completions allowed were the fewest in the Big Ten. Joseph saw multiple players earn All-Big Ten honors, including two-time first-team pick Ciante Evans.

Before Nebraska, Joseph spent two seasons as the defensive backs coach at Tennessee, where he also served as the recruiting coordinator. Joseph helped the UT defense rank among the nation’s top pass defenses in both 2010 and 2011. In 2011, the Vols finished 12th nationally in passing yards allowed with an average of just 177.8 yards per game. Joseph oversaw a young defensive backfield, including true freshman Brian Randolph, who earned SEC all-freshman honors in 2011.

In Joseph’s first season in Knoxville in 2010, Joseph helped the Vols rank in the top 20 in the nation with 18 interceptions, and the group played a key role in a late-season run that earned Tennessee a trip to the Music City Bowl. Safety Janzen Jackson and cornerback Prentiss Waggner each earned second-team All-SEC honors. Waggner returned three interceptions for touchdowns to set a school record.

Joseph joined the UT staff after three seasons at Louisiana Tech from 2007 to 2009, where he served as the secondary coach and recruiting coordinator. Joseph played a key role in a defensive turnaround at Louisiana Tech. The highlight of Joseph’s stint in Ruston, La., came in 2008, when the Bulldogs earned their first bowl trip in seven seasons. Tech completed an 8-5 season with a 17-10 victory over NIU in the Independence Bowl. Joseph also coordinated Tech’s recruiting efforts, and the 2009 class was ranked second in the WAC. Joseph was ranked as one of the top five recruiters in a non-BCS conference by Rivals.com.

Joseph worked as a defensive graduate assistant at LSU in 2006. During his one season in Baton Rouge, Joseph helped the Tiger defense rank third nationally in total defense, and LSU finished the year with a Sugar Bowl victory over Notre Dame.

Joseph began his coaching career in the Louisiana prep ranks, working as an assistant at two New Orleans area schools. Joseph worked at Archbishop Shaw from 1999 through 2002, and served as defensive coordinator at Destrehan High School from 2003 to 2005.

Joseph earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State in 1996. He was a baseball standout at the school, and is one of only 12 players in Southland Conference history to earn first-team all-conference honors three straight seasons. Joseph was the player of the year in 1995, when he was coached by current Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn. A two-time Academic All-American with the Demons, Joseph owned 10 school records when he completed his collegiate baseball career.

Joseph was a 13th-round draft choice of the Chicago Cubs and played four seasons in the minor leagues with the Cubs and San Diego Padres.

Joseph and his wife, Amanda, are the parents of two daughters, Taylor and Lynleigh.

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