New Clemson Athletics Director Graham Neff was a guest Thursday morning on the Packer and Durham show with Mark Packer and Wes Durham on ACC Network.
Neff discussed the substantial changes that have taken place on Dabo Swinney’s staff since the 2021 regular season ended, including the departures of both former defensive coordinator Brent Venables and former offensive coordinator Tony Elliott to become the next head coaches at Oklahoma and Virginia, respectively.
Neff spoke about Swinney’s excitement for the future of the Clemson football program amidst all the turnover on his staff.
“I would tell you, Coach Swinney couldn’t be more fired up, and the energy out of our football building here with the staff changes and certainly losing Coach Venables and Coach Elliott — Tony still being in the league is awesome — but it’s a little bit of a sea change,” Neff said. “But that chapter turned for our football program, and the energy and excitement that Coach Swinney has, and throughout the building with the rest of the staff and those changes that we’ve had — internal and external hires, and then ultimately with the student-athletes — it’s been a fun month for Clemson Football.”
Along with Venables and Elliott, the Tigers also lost former defensive tackles coach Todd Bates, who joined Venables’ staff at Oklahoma as the associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator/run defense.
In addition, Robbie Caldwell retired as Clemson’s offensive line coach and has been replaced by Thomas Austin, with Caldwell transitioning into an off-field role with the program as a director of high school relations.
Wes Goodwin was promoted from senior defensive assistant to defensive coordinator/linebackers coach and added the role of co-defensive coordinator for safeties coach Mickey Conn, while offensively, Clemson promoted Brandon Streeter to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
Most recently, Nick Eason was hired from Auburn to replace Bates as the Tigers’ new defensive tackles coach.
Even with all the staff changes, Swinney is optimistic about the direction the Clemson football program is heading coming off a season in which the Tigers (10-3, 6-2 ACC) managed to win 10 games for an 11th straight season following a slow start.
“Now as we turn into ’22 and obviously get into offseason, camp and spring practice and all that, there’s a lot of really, really good mojo out of our football program, let alone the rest of our department,” Neff said.
Clemson Variety & Frame is doing their part to help bring you some classic new barware and help one of the local businesses that helps make Clemson special.
Order your Nick’s barware and do your part to help. #SaveNicks