Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe has named current assistants Brian Knorr and Tim Billings co-defensive coordinators, Grobe told ESPN.com on Monday.
The Demon Deacons were scheduled to start spring practices on Tuesday, but the unexpected departure of former defensive coordinator Brad Lambert, who left to become the head coach of Charlotte, forced Grobe to reshuffle his staff. Wake Forest is now expected to start practicing on Friday.
Knorr, who was coaching the receivers, was the inside linebackers coach under Grobe at Ohio University, where he succeeded Grobe as head coach. He will also coach the inside linebackers this year. Billings, who coached the outside linebackers last year, will continue that role. Billings was head coach at Southeast Missouri State (2000-05), and defensive coordinator at Marshall in 1999.
Steve Russ will move from linebackers to the secondary. Grobe has also designated Keith Henry, who coached the secondary last year, as the special teams coordinator.
Grobe recently hired former West Virginia receivers coach Lonnie Galloway, who will coordinate the passing game with quarterbacks coach Tom Elrod. Offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke will continue to oversee the entire offense, in addition to coordinating the running game with Billy Mitchell.
“This was a great opportunity to help ourselves offensively, and I don’t think we’ll miss a beat defensively,” Grobe said. “We’ll be better just because our kids will be older, but it’s really more of an opportunity for us. I hate to lose Brad, but in losing Brad we’re able to make ourselves better on the offensive side, and hopefully with Brian coming over we don’t miss anything because we’ve got another really experienced defensive coach coming over to help us on defense.”