The Daily Gamecock

South Carolina football adds defensive coaching assistant with NFL experience

<p>South Carolina’s defense gets ready for the snap in an NCAA football game against Florida Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 in Columbia, SC. The Gamecocks won 40-17.</p>
South Carolina’s defense gets ready for the snap in an NCAA football game against Florida Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 in Columbia, SC. The Gamecocks won 40-17.

The South Carolina football program announced the hiring of former Jacksonville Jaguars assistant defensive line coach Sterling Lucas on Friday. Lucas will serve as the outside linebackers/edge/defensive end's coach on the Gamecocks’ staff.

The University of South Carolina board of trustees approved Lucas' 2-year, $350,000 contract on Friday afternoon. His contract is effective tomorrow until Dec. 31, 2023. 

Lucas may earn $25,000 for a SEC Championship game appearance or $50,000 for a SEC Championship game win. Lucas is also entitled to post-season bowl game or College Football Playoff bonuses, as well, per the contract. 

Other incentives included in the new hire's contract pertain to possible bowl appearances with a non-College Football Playoff or Citrus Bowl appearance earning him a $20,000 bonus or a $25,000 bonus for a Citrus Bowl appearance. The team's appearance in a "New Years Six" Bowl would earn Lucas $30,000 and an appearance in one of the CFP Semifinals or the CFP National Championship game would see him earn $40,000 and $50,000 respectively.

A win for the Gamecocks in the CFP National Championship game would bring Lucas a $65,000 bonus. In the event multiple of the incentives are achieved, he would only earn the greater of the bonuses and would have to be currently employed and presently coaching during any game he could earn a bonus for.

The contract also includes the allocation of a vehicle or monthly automobile stipend in addition to actual relocation and moving expenses as Lucas transitions from Jacksonville to Columbia.

Lucas will fill the spot on head coach Shane Beamer's coaching staff that was left empty after the departure of outside linebacker's coach, Mike Peterson. Peterson leaves South Carolina after six seasons to return to the University of Florida, where he was a player from 1995-1998, to coach the same position.

Lucas comes to Columbia with six years of NFL coaching experience on the defensive side of the ball for the Baltimore Ravens, and most recently the Jacksonville Jaguars. After playing four years at the linebacker position for North Carolina State, he got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant with the Wolfpack program from 2013-2015.

Baltimore hired Lucas in 2016 as a defensive assistant and a strength and conditioning assistant. He would go on to fill a number of roles for the franchise through the 2020 season including defensive quality control and defensive assistant for linebackers and the defensive line.

Lucas hails from Orangeburg, South Carolina and joins Gamecocks wide receivers coach Justin Stepp and tight ends coach Erik Kimrey as South Carolina natives on Beamers staff.

Editor's note: This is a developing story.