Clemson's newest on-field assistant will spend bowl season recovering

Clemson's newest on-field assistant will spend bowl season recovering

Football

Clemson's newest on-field assistant will spend bowl season recovering

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The recent shakeup to Clemson’s coaching staff includes one staffer’s promotion to an on-field assistant, but his new coaching duties will have to wait until next year.

Kyle Richardson was promoted to tight ends coach following Tony Elliott’s departure for Virginia, where Clemson’s former offensive coordinator is now the head coach. Elliott also coached the tight ends this season, and when Clemson coach Dabo Swinney decided to promote quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter to offensive coordinator, it left the Tigers with one void to fill within the offensive staff.

That’s where Richardson comes in, though Richardson won’t make the trip to Orlando later this month to coach in Clemson’s Cheez-It Bowl matchup with Iowa State. Richardson recently underwent minor back surgery, something Swinney said Richardson would’ve put off until January had he known what was coming.

“He’s chomping at the bit,” Swinney said. “It was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ when I called him.”

Swinney said he and offensive analyst Thomas Austin will share coaching duties for the tight ends in Richardson’s absence. Once Richardson is fully recovered, Clemson will have in place a coach that’s had a hand in helping the offense behind the scenes for the last five seasons.

After a highly successful run as the head coach at Rock Hill’s Northwestern High, where he led the Trojans to three state title game appearances and a pair of state championships in five seasons, Richardson was hired in an off-field role in 2016 because Swinney said he wanted a “high school perspective in our staff room.” Since then, Richardson has held multiple titles, including senior offensive assistant and director of player development.

Swinney said Richardson has turned down opportunities to get on the field sooner as a coordinator or quarterbacks coach at other programs. Now he’s being rewarded for that patience with his chance at Clemson, where he will also serve as the Tigers’ pass-game coordinator.

It will just be delayed a little longer.

“Kyle is so deserving,” Swinney said. “He’s going to do a great job. He’s got great aptitude and acumen for the passing game. Being able to put him in this role is going to help us and make us better.”

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