Sources: Miami to hire UNC's Lovett

Updated: February 9, 2009, 7:07 PM ET
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

Miami is expected to hire North Carolina special teams coach and defensive assistant John Lovett as its defensive coordinator, sources close to the situation confirmed on Monday.

According to the Miami Herald, which first reported the story, Miami could announce the hire as early as Wednesday. The move would complete Miami's offseason staff changes, as coach Randy Shannon also hired Mark Whipple as offensive coordinator to replace Patrick Nix, who was fired after the season.

Lovett will be the third defensive coordinator the program has had in three seasons under Shannon. The Canes had to replace former defensive coordinator Bill Young after one season because Young decided last month to coach at his alma mater, Oklahoma State.

Lovett, 58, will be making his third stop at an ACC school, as he was Clemson's defensive coordinator from 2002-2004. Lovett has 18 years of experience at the position, which he also held at Maine, Cincinnati, Auburn and Bowling Green. He spent the past two seasons at UNC, where he helped kick returner Brandon Tate establish the ACC career mark for kickoff return yards. In 2007, kicker Conner Barth set the school record for career field goals, making 19 of 22.

Lovett's experience coaching the secondary could help the Canes in an area they need it most. Miami was last in the nation and in the ACC last year with just four interceptions.

Heather Dinich covers the ACC for ESPN.com.