Named Georgia State’s defensive line coach in February 2019, Brad Lawing brings nearly four decades of coaching experience to Atlanta, including 29 seasons coaching defenses at Power Five schools Florida State, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Michigan State.
Most recently, Lawing served three seasons (2015-17) coaching the defensive ends and outside linebackers at Florida State. In addition to working on Jimbo Fisher’s staff, he has coached under Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, Nick Saban at Michigan State and Mack Brown at Appalachian State. Lawing and GSU head coach Shawn Elliott coached on the same South Carolina staff from 2010-12.
Lawing has overseen the development of numerous outstanding defensive linemen throughout his career, including seven NFL first-round draft picks. In the last seven years alone, he coached 2014 No. 1 overall selection Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina as well as first-round picks Brian Burns (2019, No. 16) at Florida State, Dante Fowler (2015, No. 3) and Dominique Easley (2014, No. 29) at Florida and Melvin Ingram (2013, No. 18) at South Carolina, while FSU’s DeMarcus Walker was a second-round selection in 2017. Lawing also coached 2000 first-round picks Julian Peterson at Michigan State and John Abraham at South Carolina.
In 2016, Lawing helped coach an FSU defense that was No. 1 in the nation with 3.92 sacks per game, led by Walker, a consensus All-American and the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year with 16 sacks, along with defensive ends Brian Burns, a Freshman All-American with 9.5 sacks, and Josh Sweatt (seven sacks).
Lawing went to Florida State after two years as assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Florida (2013-14), helping the Gators rank among the national leaders in total defense and scoring defense.
At South Carolina from 2006-12, Lawing helped the Gamecocks lead the Southeastern Conference in sacks in 2010 with 41 and again in 2012 with 43 sacks. From 2008-12, South Carolina finished in the nation’s Top 15 in total defense each year with a high of No. 3 in 2011.
Lawing began his coaching career as assistant at Havelock High School in North Carolina for three seasons (1980-82). His first collegiate position was coaching offensive tackles and tight ends at Appalachian State in 1983. He remained at App State as the defensive line coach for the next five seasons, during which time he coached Southern Conference Player of the Year Anthony Downs as well as future NFL players Tommy Dawkins and Mike Frier.
From there he moved to South Carolina as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator from 1989-98. In his first stint with the Gamecocks, he coached future NFL players Corey Miller, Gerald Dixon and Henry Taylor, and as recruiting coordinator, he signed defensive end John Abraham, who went on to be a five-time NFL Pro Bowler.
In four seasons at Michigan State (1999-02), Lawing tutored six future NFL players, including 1999 first-team All-American Julian Peterson, who was a first-round draft pick and five-time Pro Bowl selection. The Spartans set a school record with 57 sacks in 1999.
Lawing then spent three years as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina (2003-05) before returning to South Carolina.
Lawing has served as the recruiting coordinator for a total of 17 years at three of his stops, including South Carolina (1989-98), Michigan State (1999-02) and North Carolina (2003-05).
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Lawing was a four-year starter at linebacker for Lenoir-Rhyne, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1979. He added a master’s degree from Appalachian State in 1985. He was inducted into the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Catawba County Hall of Fame in 2019.
Lawing and his wife Laura have a son Will, a daughter Susie Hughes son-in-law Thomas Hughes, and three grandchildren: Natalie, Mary Brooks and Claire Hughes. Will is an assistant coach for the NFL’s Houston Texans.