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Maryland football promotes Brian Williams to defensive coordinator

Head coach Michael Locksley also added Lance Thompson and Wes Neighbors to round out his defensive coaching staff.

Courtesy of Twitter (@coachwill347)

Maryland football announced the finalization of its defensive coaching staff on Wednesday afternoon as Brian Williams, who served as the team’s co-defensive coordinator in 2021, has been promoted to the defensive coordinator position, per a Wednesday release.

Williams has been with the program since head coach Michael Locksley’s first season leading Maryland in 2019. The former outside linebackers and defensive line coach will continue to coach the defensive line unit.

Williams was given the play-calling reins in the final two games of the 2021 season in the games against Rutgers and Virginia Tech, which both resulted in wins. The Terps surrendered 26 combined points and averaged just 298 offensive yards against in those two games.

The Terps’ recruiting abilities on the defensive side of the ball have also seen an uptick since the arrival of Williams and Locksley. Maryland has boasted three consecutive top-35 classes ever since Williams joined the program.

Other than Williams, Maryland announced that two other additions, Lance Thompson and Wes Neighbors, will be made to the defensive coaching staff. Thompson will coach the inside linebackers and Neighbors will coach the safeties.

Thompson is an experienced recruiter whose career has spanned over 30 years. He has the coaching experience as seen by his tenures on staff at schools that range from Alabama, Georgia Tech and LSU. Thompson has also served as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech, Alabama, LSU, UCF, Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina and Florida Atlantic.

Thompson most recently was with Florida Atlantic as the linebacker coach.

Neighbors has served as a position coach at Louisiana, South Florida and Florida Atlantic. He was Louisiana’s safeties coach in 2021, helping the program to a 13-1 record along with a Sun Belt championship. Under his guidance, Louisiana had one of the strongest pass defenses in college football, holding opponents to an average of just around 190 yards per game.