FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -Brian VanGorder left South Carolina as defensive coordinator on Thursday to take the same job with the Atlanta Falcons.
VanGorder, 48, spent last year as the Falcons' linebackers coach. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier hired him as coordinator last month during Week 15 of the NFL season, but VanGorder worked Atlanta's last two games.
The Falcons hired Mike Smith as head coach on Wednesday. Smith replaced Bobby Petrino, who abruptly left the Falcons last month after just 13 games of a 4-12 season.
VanGorder has held six jobs with four teams over the last five years.
In 2004, he resigned after four seasons as defensive coordinator at Georgia. Smith was Jacksonville's defensive coordinator when VanGorder became the Jaguars' linebackers coach in 2005.
VanGorder moved to Georgia Southern the next season, leading the Eagles to a 3-8 record as head coach.
``I worked with Brian in Jacksonville and have a tremendous amount of respect for him,'' Smith said. ``He brings an aggressive approach that I'm sure will benefit our defense.''
Petrino, who left the Falcons for Arkansas, lost his defensive coordinator on Thursday when South Carolina hired him in the same capacity. Ellis Johnson left Petrino's staff after just four weeks to replace VanGorder at South Carolina.

Recent NFL Discussions

Handicapping 2017 Win Totals on Wed, May 2017 by Blade
2017 NFL Draft Grades on Sun, Apr 2017 by Blade
Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
NFL Draft Preview on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail GM confident Falcons will sign Freeman Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff says he's confident that a deal with get worked out with running back Devonta Freeman.
Thumbnail Broncos' RB job open for competition The Broncos are set to have an open competition at running back for the 2017 season.
Thumbnail NFL Draft Prop Odds The 2017 NFL Draft gets underway later tonight. Here is a look at some of the featured prop odds for tonight’s first round.

NFL Team Pages