CLEMSON – Faced with the monumental task of replacing his two best assistants, Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney said it took him around a minute.
And it’s for both.
He never even thought of interviewing anyone.
“Sometimes it’s easy,” Swinney said. “Thirty seconds. It would be hard for me to interview someone in 30 seconds. That’s the time it took to make a decision.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables is now the coach of Oklahoma. Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is now Virginia’s coach.
For those positions, two of the best in the country for a program that had made six straight college football playoffs with two national championships before this season, the candidates would have lined up around Memorial Stadium. But those who skipped the line were already in the building.
From the outside, it was more than surprising.
Swinney handed the offensive coordinator job to Brandon Streeter, who has never called a game in seven years at Clemson. Swinney handed the defensive coordinator role to Wes Goodwin, who was never even a post coach and was on the support staff roster – the last one in fact – among 13 people who have served in player development and training. as analysts. Goodwin’s co-coordinator, although he won’t be calling plays, is Mickey Conn, a 16-year-old high school coach who was put on staff and eventually promoted to head of safety teams in 2017, special teams this season.
Relax, Clemson fans, Swinney insisted on Tuesday, the first time he had met the media since the chaos started two weeks ago.
“Trust me,” he said. ” We are doing very good. “
“… There is no one who has more at stake than Coach Swinney. It is my livelihood. This is what I do for a living. If people don’t believe in me after 13 years of what they’ve been through in Clemson, they’ll never believe in me.
It’s not really new to Swinney. In 2010, he hired Chad Morris as offensive coordinator, who had been in the Texas high school ranks since 1994 and in the college ranks with Tulsa for one season.
“When I hired Chad, there weren’t a lot of happy people,” Swinney said. “I had lost my mind. He’s been a high school and college coach for seven months. Then when he left, well, we would never have had a first down again. I remember it very well.
Morris was hired as a coach at SMU in 2015, just before a bowl game in Orlando, the same stadium as this season, actually, and Elliott was promoted to offensive coordinator. Elliott led the Tigers to a 40-6 win over Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
“Very similar,” Swinney said. “He had never called a room in his life.”
Clemson, in what is considered a disappointment, failed to win the ACC championship and missed the college football playoffs for the first time in seven years. But the Tigers still have a chance to win 10 games for the 11th straight season under Swinney. The Tigers (9-3) will face Iowa State (7-5) in the December 29 Cheez-It Bowl (5:45 p.m.) in Orlando, Fla.
Swinney was the wide receivers coach for Clemson in 2008 when he was named interim coach following the sacking of Tommy Bowden.
“I was not a real popular rental,” Swinney said.
Since then, Swinney has made it a point to hire from within, to go against the grain, to give a real chance to someone unknown but who deserves with real potential.
“I’m going to hire the best person,” Swinney said. “I’m not going to do what other people want me to do. I’m going to hire who’s the best for this team, for this university, and for me.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Clemson’s Dabo Swinney on the Interior Coordinator Appointment: ‘Trust Me’