Jerome "Jappy" Oliver New D-Line Coach!

Photos Included In This Bio Jerome "Jappy" Oliver has been named the new defensive line coach for the University of South Carolina. After eight seasons at the Air Force Academy as the defensive line coach, Oliver will now join the USC coaching staff and get right to work recruiting and evaluating his talent on hand ...

Born July 17, 1955, Oliver has over 25 years of coaching experience. He is well liked by his players and is considered one of the more dynamic recruiters in the country today.

Jappy was born in Flint, Michigan, was a letterman at Purdue, and has focused on Colorado and Texas for the past eight years in recruiting.

Oliver went to the Air Force Academy in 1995 from Vanderbilt, where he coached the defensive line from 1991-93 and the linebackers in 1994.

While at the Air Force Academy, Oliver made an instant impact. Bryce Fisher earned Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1998. Fisher was also the team's most outstanding player during the Las Vegas Bowl in 1997. Oliver helped Fisher become a seventh-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League.

Oliver also helped turn Shawn Thomas into one of AFA's best. Thomas finished his career ranked fourth in AFA history in tackles for loss and quarterback sacks. In 2000, Oliver also helped develop on of the top defensive line units in the conference in Zach Johnson, Justin Pendry and Dan Probert. Last season, Johnson earned all-conference honors and was selected to play in the East-West Shrine game.

In addition to his position coaching duties, Oliver was involved with the kickoff team and the extra point and field goal block teams. Being a Special Teams coach is one of the key attributes Oliver had that may have led to his hire at USC.

Oliver is a 1978 graduate of Purdue where he lettered three years in football as a wide receiver. Following his career at Purdue as a player, Oliver returned to the school as a graduate assistant in 1979-80. He then coached running backs and receivers at Eastern Michigan in 1981-82 and outside linebackers at Northeastern in 1983. Oliver got his first taste of service academy football at Navy where he coached the defensive line from 1984-86. He spent a one-year stint at Grand Valley State in 1988 and two years at Western Illinois before going to Vanderbilt.

While at Vanderbilt, Oliver helped the defense set school records for quarterback sacks in back-to-back years. The team's rushing yards allowed also improved each year during a four-year stretch. This is was a serious area of concern for USC coaches in need of applying more pressure to opposing quarterbacks.

Originally from Flint, Mich., Oliver was a standout athlete at Southwestern High School. He earned all-city and all-district honors in both football and basketball and was the city's Athlete of the Year in 1973.

"He's a good hire for us," said one Gamecock coach by phone Thursday. "He's everything we were looking for and then some."

Oliver helped the Falcons to four post-season bowl games while at the Academy. He and his wife Maxine have one daughter, Candace, and a son, Justin.

The fans of the University of South Carolina welcome Jappy Oliver to the family.


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