Football hires two new assistants

The two coaches will help build Wake Forest’s 2022 defense


Will Zimmerman

Wake Forest fans have high hopes for the 2022 season, starting with the Demon Deacon defense.

Essex Thayer, Sports Editor

 Following the hire of Brad Lambert as Wake Forest’s new defensive coordinator, the Demon Deacons have added two additional coaches to their defensive staff — James Adams as safeties coach and Glenn Spencer as linebackers coach. 

Adams, whose hire was announced on Jan. 31, is a Wake Forest alum who lettered two times for the football team as a linebacker. 

“James Adams has been a successful coach at every stop in his career,” Wake Forest Head Coach Dave Clawson said in a press release. “He has a passion for football, his players and Wake Forest University.” 

Following a year as a graduate assistant with Wake Forest and a year with Wofford, Adams served as a secondary coach at Charlotte from 2011 to 2018 as one of the founding members of the program, along with Lambert. 

In 2021, Adams teamed up with Lambert again at Purdue, where the Boilermakers won nine games for the first time since 2003. 

“Wake Forest is home and I am excited to be returning to Winston-Salem and working with Coach Clawson and the entire staff and our student-athletes,” Adams said in the release. “It’s an exciting time to be a Demon Deacon.” 

On Feb. 7, Wake Forest announced Spencer as the second of the two assistant hires. 

“We are fortunate to get a football coach with [Spencer’s] experience and pedigree to join our staff,” Clawson said of the hire. “He has a long history of coaching great linebackers and will bring another veteran presence to our staff.” 

After beginning his coaching career with a 10-year stint at Western Georgia, having spent three years as head coach, Spencer coached the defensive side of the ball for six years at Georgia Tech and Duke. 

Wake Forest is a great institution, and I am proud to join Coach Clawson and the entire staff in Winston-Salem

— Glenn Spencer

Then, he spent the next 10 years at Oklahoma State, the final five of which were as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator. In his first year as defensive coordinator with the Cowboys, Spencer was nominated for the Broyles Award, given to the top coordinator in the nation. 

In 2018, Spencer spent one year coaching with Lambert at Charlotte, before joining Florida Atlantic University as the defensive coordinator in 2019. 

Prior to his hire by Wake Forest, Spencer spent the past two years as the defensive coordinator at South Florida. 

“Wake Forest is a great institution, and I am proud to join Coach Clawson and the entire staff in Winston-Salem,” Spencer said. “[I] look forward to competing and coaching in this premiere conference.”