In addition to the Michigan Panthers hiring long time NFL Assistant Steve Brown as their 2023 Defensive Coordinator, the Memphis Showboats also filled their Defensive Coordinator position. The Showboats are promoting from within to fill the position left by Pepper Johnson with Carnell Lake who spent 2022 as the then Bandits Defensive Backs Coach. Lake’s promotion to Defensive Coordinator is the first time in his professional career coaching career.
Lake was a veteran of the NFL for 13 seasons playing for the Steelers, Jaguars, and Ravens. He earned Five pro bowls and would end his career as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame. He’d begin his coaching career in 2009 as an intern with the Philadelphia Eagles, taking the same role in 2010 with the Packers. From 2011 to 2017 he’d return to the Steelers serving as the team’s Defensive Backs coach for 8 Seasons. He’d leave the team in 2018 to spend more time with his son, before joining the then Bandits and reuniting with his former colleague Todd Haley in the USFL.
Lake takes over a Defense that now will be without Travis Feeney, Obi Melifonwu, Anthony Cioffi, Rannell Hall, Quenton Meeks, and Rashard Causey going into 2023. With the struggles of being a first time Defensive Coordinator, in addition to high level talent departing, Lake’s first season as the DC of the now Showboats will be full of challenges for a team that narrowly missed the playoffs in 2022. Special thank you to the USFL Communications Department for confirming the report that was originally leaked via twitter.