VanGorder Spurns Gamecocks, Goes Back to Falcons

Tim PollockSenior Writer IJanuary 24, 2008

On December 19 of 2007, Brian VanGorder accepted the job as defensive coordinator at the University of South Carolina. 

After going through four jobs in four years, VanGorder said, "I think at this point stability is very, very important to me and my family. The three-year contract is nice and I think that's a statement for everybody.

"My intentions are to be at South Carolina and to be there a long time."

Apparently a long time to Brian VanGorder is one month. 

When VanGorder’s good friend Mike Smith took the Atlanta Falcons’ head coaching job, Smith quickly offered VanGorder the opportunity to coach the defense.

Despite labeling himself a “college guy,” VanGorder did an about-face on the Gamecocks and ran for the big money of the NFL. While the financial stability now may be better for VanGorder, he has once again proven he's always after the next big thing.

With VanGorder gone, the Gamecocks quickly poached a coach of their own.

Enter Ellis Johnson, former defensive coordinator of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.  Johnson was recently hired by Bobby Petrino at Arkansas—but after less than a month-long stint in Fayetteville, he jumped at the opportunity to coach with Steve Spurrier, who was more than happy to scoop up such a qualified candidate. 

Johnson also played and coached at The Citadel, in Charleston, just a short trip from Columbia. Johnson cited the ability come back home to his native South Carolina as a major factor in his decision.   

Spurrier has gone on record as saying he should have hired Johnson the first time around. 

Fittingly, the guy who started it all, Bobby Petrino, finds his Arkansas team the odd man out, as they now must make a move to hire another defensive coordinator.