Earlier this week, Dabo Swinney officially announced Thomas Austin returned to Clemson as an offensive analyst who will be assisting Robbie Caldwell on the offensive line.
Though Swinney did not say it, it is presumed Austin was brought in to eventually take over for Caldwell when the 67-year-old offensive line coach decides to retire in the future. If that is indeed the case, it will likely mean Swinney’s entire offensive on-field coaching staff will be filled with former Tigers.
C.J. Spiller, of course, officially joined the staff earlier this month as Swinney’s new running backs coach, replacing former Tiger Danny Pearman as on on-field assistant coach. Tony Elliott, Clemson’s offensive coordinator, moved over to tight ends coach, while Pearman is Clemson’s new director of scouting.
“I love hiring former players because I think they have a great perspective,” Swinney said. “It is awesome for our offensive coordinator to be a guy that played here. Our quarterbacks’ coach is a guy that played here. Now, C.J. Spiller, our running backs coach played here. Tyler Grisham played here.”
When Austin does eventually move up to be the new offensive line coach, it will also mean four of Clemson’s assistant coaches were coached by Swinney.
Elliott was coached by Swinney in 2003, Swinney’s first year as the wide receivers’ coach at Clemson. Tyler Grisham, who coaches Clemson’s receivers now, played for Swinney when he was still the wide receivers’ coach from 2005-’08. Swinney took over as Clemson’s interim head coach halfway through Grisham’s senior year.
Spiller, of course, was recruited to Clemson by Swinney and became an All-American and the ACC Player of the Year in Swinney’s first year as the head coach in 2009.
Austin was a starter on Clemson’s offensive line when Swinney was the interim head coach and during his first full season as head coach.
Streeter, who quarterbacked the Tigers from 1996-’99, is the only on-field offensive coach at the present time who was not coached by Swinney.
“I think we have like 21 former players that are on our staff right now in different roles. I just think that is a really cool thing for me,” Swinney said.
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