Swinney Hires Three Assistants For Football Staff


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Charlie Harbison Joins Clmson Staff as Defensive Backs Coach

Former Clemson assistant coach Charlie Harbison has returned to the school as defensive backs coach. Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney made the announcement on Friday.

Harbison returns to Clemson after serving as the safeties coach at Mississippi State each of the last two years. He served as the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State this past season. He worked as Clemson defensive backs coach under Tommy West between 1995-97, and worked with Swinney at Alabama during the 1998-2000 seasons.

“Charlie Harbison is one of the top secondary coaches in the nation,” said Swinney. “He has considerable experience working with outstanding programs in the SEC and the ACC. He was a part of an SEC championship staff at LSU and was also a part of an SEC Championship staff at Alabama. He has also coached at Clemson and his daughter still lives and works in Clemson, so I know he is excited to come back.”

Harbison worked under Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. In 2007, his safeties helped the Bulldogs defense rank seventh in the nation in pass defense, allowing just 176 yards per game. The Bulldogs were also ranked 20th in pass efficiency defense and 21st in total defense.

That defense had a lot to do with Mississippi State’s eight-win season that included victories over Auburn, Alabama and rival Mississppi in addition to a bowl victory over Central Florida. After the season Harbison was elevated to defensive coordinator and he served in that role during the 2008 season. The Bulldogs ranked 20th in the nation in pass defense in 2008.

Harbison, 49, came to MSU following four years in his second tour of duty on the staff at the University of Alabama. He coached the Crimson Tide wide receivers during his most recent stint. The Crimson Tide played in the three bowls in those four years, including the 2006 Cotton Bowl.

During that four-year stretch, Harbison helped receivers D. J. Hall, Antonio Carter, and Triandos Luke rank among the school’s all-time top 10 pass-catchers. Two of Hall’s single-season receiving totals were among the top 10 in school history. Following the 2005 season, he was honored as one of the nation’s top 25 college football recruiters by Rivals.com.

Harbison coached the Crimson Tide defensive backs in his initial stay in Tuscaloosa from 1998-2000. He helped the Tide to appearances in the 1998 Music City and 2000 Orange Bowls during those three years. He was a part of the 1999 Alabama staff that won the Southeastern Conference Western Division title, and defeated Florida in the SEC Championship Game, leading to an Orange Bowl appearance. Two of his pupils, Fernando Bryant in 1999 and Tony Dixon in 2001 were taken in the first and second rounds, respectively, of the National Football League draft.

In between those two Alabama assignments, Harbison coached the defensive backfield at LSU in 2001 and ’02. He was a member of the Tiger coaching staff that directed the 2001 LSU team to an SEC Championship Game victory over Tennessee. During his two years, LSU played in the 2002 Sugar and 2003 Cotton Bowls. Corey Webster, who played under Harbison his first two years in Baton Rouge, finished his career second on the school’s all-time pass interception list.

Harbison served as the defensive backs coach at Clemson from 1995-97 and helped the Tigers to three consecutive bowl appearances. His 1995 defensive backs had four players who went on to play in the NFL. That list includes Brian Dawkins, who has gone on to a six-time Pro Bowl career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Dawkins’ six selections tie for the most among former Clemson players. Dawkins earned All-America honors in 1995 when he led the ACC in interceptions with six. He also coached Super Bowl Champion Dexter McCleon, first round draft choice Antwan Edwards, and former Washington Redskins safety Leomont Evans.

Harbison coached the secondary at UTEP (1994) and served twice at his alma mater, Gardner-Webb, coaching wide receivers (1992-93) and defensive backs (1984-85).

In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Harbison worked in both the Arena Football League and the World League of American Football. His professional football coaching resume includes serving as defensive coordinator for the Charlotte Rage (1993).

A native of Shelby, N.C., Harbison graduated from Gardner-Webb College in 1995. A two-sport star in football and track on the college level, he was a free-agent signee of the Buffalo Bills following his senior season.

He and wife, the former Tammy McCluney, have four children – Charlie, Stedman, Masai and Msiba; daughter-in-law Caroline, grandsons, Masai II and Amari and granddaughter Gloria.

Danny Pearman Named Tight Ends/Tackles Coach

Former Clemson tight end and veteran assistant coach Danny Pearman has been named tackles and tight ends coach at Clemson University. Head Coach Dabo Swinney made the announcement on Friday.

Pearman comes to Clemson from the University of Maryland where he served as tight ends and special teams coach this past season, helping the Terps to bowl bid. Pearman has been an assistant coach for a school now in the ACC for the last 11 years. He served on Duke’s staff in 2007 and at North Carolina in 2006. He also had an extended career at Alabama (1990-97) and Virginia Tech (1998-2005). He was on the same staff with Swinney at Alabama during the 1993-97 seasons.

When Pearman coaches for the Tigers in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on January 1 against Nebraska it will be his 17th bowl game as an assistant coach.

“Danny Pearman was on the National Championship coaching staff at Alabama in 1992 when I was a player,” said Swinney. “He brings a tough, hard-nosed approach and is a great fit for this staff. He is a Clemson graduate who has a keen appreciation of this school’s tradition. He has a great pedigree, as he has worked under Gene Stallings, Frank Beamer and many other top coaches. He is also an outstanding recruiter and is very familiar with the ACC. “

Pearman helped the Maryland offense to a number-two ranking in the ACC in passing, and a number-three ranking in total offense during the 2008 season. Starting tight end Dan Gronkowski was named honorable mention All-ACC and had 29 receptions for 287 yards. He ranked third among all ACC tight ends in receptions.

He also had a strong impact on the Maryland special teams. He coached sophomore punter Travis Baltz to first-team All-ACC status with a 41.4 average. Maryland was also eighth in the nation in fewest yards allowed per punt return. The Terps were first in the ACC and 16th in the nation in net punting.

Pearman has been an assistant coach in two National Championship games, one with Alabama in 1992 and one with Virginia Tech in 1999. The Crimson Tide won the National Championship with a Sugar Bowl victory over Miami (FL) in 1992, Swinney’s senior year with the Crimson Tide and Pearman’s second season as a full-time coach.

Pearman was a member of two ACC Championships seasons at Clemson as a tight end in 1986 and 1987. He earned his undergraduate degree from Clemson in finance in December of 1987 and his masters degree from Clemson in December of 1989.

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at Clemson under Danny Ford in 1988 and 1989. Clemson won the ACC championship in 1988 and posted 10-2 records in each of those seasons.

Pearman became a graduate assistant coach at Alabama under Head Coach Gene Stallings in 1990. He served as offensive tackles and specials teams coach at Alabama between 1991-96, then coached the defensive tackles and special teams at Alabama in 1997. Alabama made six total bowl appearances in his eight years on that staff. The Tide also won five SEC Western Division titles during his time in Tuscaloosa.

Pearman moved on to Virginia Tech as a member of Frank Beamer’s staff in 1998. He served an eight-year tenure as tight ends, tackles and a special teams assistant.

Pearman helped Virginia Tech to eight consecutive bowl appearances, including the national championship game against Florida State in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 1999 season. During his time at Virginia Tech he coached Jeff King, an All-ACC tight end and a fifth-round draft choice of the Carolina Panthers, and Bob Slowikowski a sixth-round draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys in 2002.

Pearman and his wife Kristy have three children, a daughter, Taylor, and two sons, Tanner and Trent.

Woody McCorvey Joins Clemson Staff as Administrator

Former Clemson assistant coach Woody McCorvey has returned to Clemson to work on Dabo Swinney’s staff. McCorvey, who was a full-time assistant at Clemson between 1983-89, will serve as an administrator within the Tiger football program. McCorvey was an assistant coach at Alabama when Swinney was a football player with the Crimson Tide. In fact he was Swinney’s position coach.

“Woody is going to be a great asset to our staff,” said Swinney. “He is going to be my national security advisor. My experience with Woody McCorvey dates to my days as a player at Alabama when he was my position coach. Woody coached at Clemson in the 1980s under Coach Ford and knows all about this school’s winning tradition. He has been a part of 11 conference championship teams in his impressive career.”

McCorvey, 58, worked seven years at Clemson University (1983-89). With McCorvey coaching the tight ends from 1983-85 and the wide receivers from 1986-89, Clemson posted a 60-19-3 overall record and won three ACC Championships. During that time frame, the Tigers were invited to the 1985 Independence Bowl, the 1986 and ‘89 Gator Bowls, as well as the 1988 and ‘89 Florida Citrus Bowls. Clemson posted a 10-2 record in each of his last three seasons under head coach Danny Ford.

McCorvey has coached at the Division I level for the last 26 years and has been to a bowl game 17 of those years. He has coached or signed 36 players who have gone on to professional football. Since he left Clemson in 1990, he has coached in the SEC every year, including each of the last five at Mississippi State where he served as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach in addition to coaching the quarterbacks. He was a big reason Mississippi State won eight games, including wins over Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi in 2007.

McCorvey, coached at Tennessee for five years (1999-03). With McCorvey heading the UT running game, the Volunteers posted a 46-14 overall record. He helped guide Tennessee to the 2000 Fiesta, 2001 Cotton, 2002 Florida Citrus, 2002 and ‘03 Peach Bowls.

Under McCorvey’s leadership, Tennessee maintained the school’s reputation of having an outstanding rushing attack. The Volunteers led the Southeastern Conference in rushing in 1999, averaging 191.3 yards per game. McCorvey’s work helped tailback Travis Stephens pace the SEC in rushing in 2001 with 1,464 yards. One year prior, McCorvey helped tailback Travis Henry finish second in the league and 14th nationally in rushing with 1,314 yards.

Prior to joining the staff at Tennessee, McCorvey worked one season at South Carolina, where he served as the Gamecocks’ receivers coach.

McCorvey took the South Carolina job following an eight-year stay at the University of Alabama from 1990-97. He served seven seasons as the Tide receivers coach, and the 1996 campaign as the team’s offensive coordinator. He was the assistant head coach in 1997. Alabama had three top five final national rankings in his career.

During those first seven seasons under head coach Gene Stallings, Alabama posted a 70-16-1 overall record and played in six bowl games. The Crimson Tide won the 1992 national Championship and the SEC title. With McCorvey at the controls of the offense in 1996, Alabama finished 10-3 overall, including a win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl.

From 1979-82, he served as an assistant coach at Alabama A&M. He began his collegiate coaching career at North Carolina Central in 1978. McCorvey began his coaching career with a six-year stint at Tate High School in Pensacola, Fl (1972-77).

A quarterback at Alabama State University from 1968-72, McCorvey earned his bachelor’s degree from Alabama State in 1972 and a master’s degree from the University of West Florida in 1977.

A native of Grove Hill, Ala., McCorvey is married to the former Ann Brown, and the couple has a son, Marlon.

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