I don't know about you, but 2014 was one of those years where we thought the SEC east was ours. We had hope. We had faith. We had dreams. But it was all just a nightmare. Mainly due to our pitiful defense. It was the first time that I could ever recall 80K plus fans screaming to have entire defensive staff terminated at every halftime. Even Granny had something to say about our defense and the coaching. It was time for a change.
But here is the deal. Fans are fans. We all have short term memories. If you are a coach, you are good (safe and secure) as far back as your last game. And, fans will find something to bitch and moan about even AFTER a win.
But did you know that Coach Ward was one of the few coaches that can boast having the best defensive records for the Carolina Gamecocks?
In 2013, Gamecock's Carolina's defense ranked 2nd in the SEC. We ranked 7th nationally. That was the last year we would see guys like Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcey Quarles, and Victor Hampton. In 2012, the Gamecocks were ranked in the top 25 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and passing defense. That same year we had 43 sacks.
In 2011 he helped build a defensive unit that was the third highest rated defense in the country. And, right after the 2011 season Coach Ward took over the defense and guided a defense that completely shut down Nebraska in the 2012 Capital One bowl.
Yeah sure, Gamecock fans put the blame on Coach Ward for the entire defense. But, if you look at his accomplishments and his recruits, you have to agree that he had a good run here. He earned the defensive coordinator spot and had the opportunity to build a strong defense every year. Unfortunately, things didn't work out for Coach Ward. Maybe it was recruiting, maybe it was schemes or maybe it was a combination of all the things. For whatever reasons, Coach Ward had success here and he can take what he has done to his next job. He will land somewhere quickly and rumor has it might be over at University of Alabama with Coach Nick Saban and staff.