Swinney adds a Clemson legend to his coaching staff

Swinney adds a Clemson legend to his coaching staff


Swinney adds a Clemson legend to his coaching staff


Clemson just landed one of the best graduate coaches a team can get these days.

Head coach Dabo Swinney announced former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller will be an unpaid graduate assistant on his staff in 2020. Spiller will help offensive coordinator and running backs coach Tony Elliott out with the running backs this fall.

“I am pretty excited about that and him joining us,” Swinney said following Tuesday’s situational scrimmage at Death Valley. “He told me on Sunday he wanted to start his coaching career. He is 33. It is hard to believe he is 33 now. It just blows my mind.”

Swinney said Spiller will get his master’s degree in athletic leadership at Clemson. Tuesday was Spiller’s first day on the job.

“I am really excited about having that guy,” Swinney said. “So, another guy is joining that running back room with Tony. Tony has a pretty good squad in there.”

Spiller, who graduated from Clemson in 2009, is not only one of the greatest running backs in Clemson history, he is one of the greatest players in the history of college football.

The 2009 unanimous All-American, totaled 7,588 all-purpose yards in his four years at Clemson, the fourth highest total in NCAA history and 1,700 more than any other player in ACC history.

In 2009, Spiller finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy race and was named the ACC Player of the Year after he set an ACC single-season record with 2,680 all-purpose yards. He led the Tigers to the ACC Championship Game for the first time and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after rushing for a career-high 234 yards and scoring four touchdowns against Georgia Tech.

Spiller, who will be enshrined in the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame later this year, also had record performances against Miami and Florida State in 2009, while also setting the ACC record for kickoff returns and special teams returns for touchdowns in a season and in a career.

The Lake Butler, Fla., native was electrifying every time he touched the football, and everyone wanted to get a glimpse of him so they could see what he would do next. In 2009, Spiller scored a then Clemson record 21 touchdowns, by running the football, catching it, and returning it.

Oh, by the way, he also threw for a touchdown in his Clemson career. There was nothing Spiller could not do, as evident by his All-American status on the track. He was also Swinney’s first All-American as Clemson’s head coach.

He was also an All-American on the football field, too. In fact, he was just the third unanimous All-American in Clemson history. When he graduated from Clemson, he went on to be the No. 9 overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.

C.J. Spiller (2006-’09)

  • Sixth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 2009
  • Unanimous first-team All-American as a senior in 2009.
  • ACC Player of the Year in 2009.
  • First-team All-American as a kick returner and second-team as a running back according to Walter Camp Foundation.  First player in history to be named at two different positions in same year by Walter Camp.
  • Set an all-time NCAA record for career returns for touchdowns with eight (7 kickoff and one punt)
  • In 2009, first player in ACC history with 1,000 yards rushing and 500 receiving in same season.
  • Had 21 touchdowns of at least 50 mores in his career, 12 more than any other Clemson player.
  • First-team Academic All-ACC and first-team on the field in 2008.
  • ACC’s career leader in all-purpose yardage with 7,588, still 1,700 yards more than any other ACC player in history.
  • All-American in track for 2008-09 academic year.   Part of 4X100 relay team  that finished  third in the nation outdoors.
  • Ran a 10.30 time in 100 meters that year, 13thbest time in the nation.
  • All-American indoors during winter of 2008, he had time of 6.58 in the 60 to finish as eighth best  American that year at NCAAs.
  • Ninth pick of the first round of 2010 NFL Draft by Buffalo, he played eight years in the NFL.
  • Earned his degree from Clemson in December of 2009

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