VanGorder leaving Falcons, will coach defense at South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Steve Spurrier brought in new leaders to fire up South Carolina's defense and special teams. And the Gamecocks' head ball coach put himself on notice to improve, too.

Spurrier hired Atlanta Falcons linebacker coach Brian VanGorder as defensive coordinator Wednesday, one day after adding Maryland special teams wiz Ray Rychleski for South Carolina's special teams.

VanGorder takes over for Tyrone Nix, who left for Ole Miss earlier this month. Rychleski replaces Fred Chatham, who was not retained by Spurrier. The changes come after a once-exhilarating season turned sour - South Carolina's 6-1 start dissolving into a five-game losing streak at the end amid breakdowns on defense and special teams.