A former Clemson player and coach is returning to Clemson to join Dabo Swinney’s staff.
The Clemson Insider confirmed through sources on Thursday that former offensive lineman and graduate assistant coach, Thomas Austin, is returning to Clemson to join Swinney’s staff full time.
At this point, TCI has not been able to confirm at what capacity Austin will join the staff.
Austin played on Clemson’s offensive line from 2006-’09, and was on the Clemson team when Swinney took over as the interim head coach in 2008. He played for Swinney in 2009 as well, helping the Tigers to their first ACC Championship Game appearance.
The former Clemson standout has coached at Georgia State the last two years as its offensive line coach. He joined the Georgia State staff in January of 2019, after serving on Swinney’s staff as a graduate assistant from 2015-’18.
According to bio on Georgia State’s Athletic website, in his first season at GSU, Austin’s line was a key component in the most prolific offense in program history with school records for points, scoring average, total offense, total offense per game, rushing yards, rushing yards per game, rushing yards per attempt and first downs.
The offensive line paved the way for Sun Belt Conference rushing leader Tra Barnett, who ranked No. 11 in FBS with 111.8 rushing yards per game. As a team, GSU ranked 13th in FBS in rushing yards per game.
Four of his linemen earned postseason honors in 2019. Left tackle Hunter Atkinson, left guard Shamarious Gilmore and center Malik Sumter earned All-Sun Belt honors, and right tackle Travis Glover was named to the FWAA-Shaun Alexander Freshman All-America team, the second Freshman All-America in school history.
Before coming to GSU, Austin spent the previous four seasons (2015-18) at Clemson working with the offensive staff as the Tigers reached the College Football Playoff each year, including titles in 2016 and 2018 and a runner-up finish in 2015. In addition to serving as a video graduate assistant for 2018’s title team, he has assisted long-time Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.
A 2009 graduate of Clemson, Austin was an All-America and two-time all-conference lineman who started 38 games for the Tigers from 2006-’09. Following his college career, he signed an NFL free agent contract with the New England Patriots in 2010. He played in the NFL with Houston, Carolina and Indianapolis from 2010-13.
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