Cross native Rod Wilson named Linebackers coach at South Carolina

Cross native Rod Wilson named Linebackers coach at South Carolina
Cross alum Rod Wilson was named the new Linebackers coach at South Carolina on Friday (Source: Live 5 News)

University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp has named former Gamecock standout Rod Wilson as the squad's linebackers coach, it was announced today following Board of Trustee approval.

VIDEO: Rod Wilson becomes USC LB's coach

Wilson has spent the past three seasons with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs as an Assistant Special Teams Coach. He assisted Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub, helping develop Harrison Butker into one of the league's top placekickers and the combination of Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman into two of the most dangerous return men in the NFL. This past season he was part of the staff that led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years.

"I'm excited to have Super Bowl Champion and former Gamecock Rod Wilson join our staff," said Coach Muschamp. "Rod was extremely impressive in the interview process. His experience in the NFL and on a Super Bowl champion team will be a great benefit to our players and staff. It's great to have another former Gamecock on our staff," added Coach Muschamp.

In 2018, the Chiefs special teams ranked third in punt returns, fourth in punt return coverage and eighth in kickoff returns. In 2017, Butker connected on a franchise record 23-consecutive field goals, ranking second in team history for most field goals made in a single season and tied for first for the most 50-plus yard field goals made in a season with four. The Chiefs also led the NFL in kick returns (40) for 1,051 yards.

Prior to his stint in Kansas City, Wilson spent four seasons (2013-16) at Charleston Southern coaching the safeties, inside linebackers and assisting with special teams, following a six-year NFL career.

Under Wilson's tutelage, CSU landed at least one linebacker on the Big South's All-Conference squad each of his four seasons. In 2016, Wilson helped guide the Buccaneers defense to top rankings within the league, limiting opponents to the fewest rushing touchdowns (15) and fewest total rushing yards (1,488). The 2015 Buccaneers ranked atop the league in total defense (292.0 yards per game) and held opponents to the second-fewest rushing yards per game (147.1) which helped earn an outright Big South title and the program's first-ever berth into the FCS Playoffs.

Within his four years at Charleston Southern, he made a brief stop in Kansas City as part of the league's Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship during the club's 2015 training camp.

Prior to his collegiate coaching career, Wilson enjoyed a six-year playing career in the National Football League. Originally selected in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft (220th overall) by the Chicago Bears, Wilson appeared in 51 games for the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, tallying 47 tackles and one forced fumble while primarily playing a special teams role under then-Special Teams Coach Dave Toub. Wilson's career highlights include four playoff appearances, which included two NFC Championship appearances and a trip to Super Bowl XLI.

Born Nov. 12, 1981, the Cross, S.C. native graduated from the University of South Carolina, where he played five different positions for the Gamecocks (quarterback, wide receiver, spur, safety and linebacker). He put together an outstanding senior year in 2004, serving as a team captain, leading the team in tackles, and earning SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades.

Wilson and his wife, Megan, have two sons, Jaylen and Ryan.