Wommack (pronounced WAHM-mok) most recently was the defensive coordinator at the University of Arkansas, where he just completed his fourth season and his third as the coordinator. During his stint with the Razorbacks, he also coached the secondary (2001), free safeties and cornerbacks (2002) and inside linebackers (2003-04). In his first season as defensive coordinator at Arkansas (2002), the Razorbacks posted a pair of shutouts and led the SEC with 36 forced turnovers and were second in the league in rushing defense, allowing 113.6 yards per game. The Hogs were SEC Western Division champions that season and played in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Arkansas also topped the SEC with 33 forced turnovers in 2003, as All-SEC linebacker Caleb Miller tallied 133 tackles and was a third round NFL draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Prior to his latest stay at Arkansas, Wommack spent seven successful seasons at Southern Mississippi. He was the secondary coach at USM from 1994 to 1998 before taking over for John Thompson (USC's new defensive coordinator) as defensive coordinator for the 1999 and 2000 seasons. He was also the assistant head coach in 2000.
Wommack helped lead the Golden Eagles to winning seasons in each of his seven seasons at the school and bowl appearances in each of his last four seasons there. The Golden Eagles won three of those four bowl games. Under his direction in 1999, the USM defense ranked No. 8 nationally in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense, while ranking seventh in the NCAA in turnover margin. One of his pupils, Adalius Thomas, was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year that season.
In 2000, Wommack once again coached the C-USA's Defensive Player of the Year in Cedric Scott and guided a USM defense that finished No. 2 in the nation in total defense, fourth in pass defense efficiency, fifth in pass defense, and eighth in scoring defense.
"We're excited about the addition of Dave Wommack to our staff," said USC head coach Steve Spurrier. "He is a solid and experienced defensive coach who has been a coordinator before and has coached in the SEC. We believe we have added another outstanding coach and outstanding person to our staff."
Wommack, 48, is a native of Kimberling City, Mo. He began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant strength coach at Arkansas in 1979 and was promoted to a full-time assistant strength position in 1980. He earned a part-time coaching position on Lou Holtz's 1981 and 1982 Razorback coaching staffs. In 1983, he became a graduate assistant defensive line coach at Missouri, where he spent two seasons. He served as the defensive coordinator at Bemidji (Minn.) State in 1985, before taking over as defensive coordinator at Southwest Missouri State in 1986, a post he held through the 1991 season. During his time at SMS, the Bears won consecutive conference championships and appeared in two straight NCAA 1-AA playoff rounds, setting a school record for victories (10) in 1989. In 1992, Wommack went to UNLV as defensive coordinator. Following a two-year stint with the Runnin' Rebels, he went to Southern Miss (1994).
"Coming to South Carolina is just a tremendous opportunity," said Wommack, " and having the chance to work with a head coach like Steve Spurrier is a chance of a lifetime." I've always admired the South Carolina program. I'm also looking forward to reuniting with John Thompson on defense. We've been close for a long time and it will be great to coach with him once again."
A 1974 graduate of Reeds Springs (Mo.) High School, Wommack was a three-year letterman (center) during his collegiate playing career at Missouri Southern. He earned his bachelor's degree from Missouri Southern in 1978 and his master's degree from Arkansas in 1979.
Born May 9, 1956, Wommack is married to the former Leslie Wilkins. They have two children: a son, Kane (17) and a daughter, Hayley (14).
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