Dabo Swinney comments on football staff changes
|Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 3:11 PM-|
CLEMSON, S.C. — Head Coach Dabo Swinney and Clemson Football announced today a number of staff changes finalized by the Clemson University Board of Trustees Compensation Committee on Tuesday afternoon.
Defensively, Clemson promoted Wes Goodwin from Senior Defensive Assistant to Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach and added the role of Co-Defensive Coordinator for Safeties Coach Mickey Conn. Cornerbacks Coach Mike Reed added the role of Special Teams Coordinator previously held by Conn, while Recruiting Coordinator/Defensive Tackles Coach Todd Bates has added the title of Assistant Head Coach.
Offensively, Clemson promoted Brandon Streeter to Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach. Clemson named Kyle Richardson, who had served as Director of High School Relations and Special Assistant to the Offense, as Passing Game Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach.
“I’m just really, really excited about the people that we have in place,” Swinney said. “I’ve always taken a lot of pride in developing our players and developing our team, but I also take a lot of pride in developing our staff.”
Full comments from Swinney are included following the conclusion of this release.
Goodwin is in his 10th overall season at Clemson spanning two tenures with the Tigers. As a defensive analyst from 2012-14 and as senior defensive assistant from 2018-21, Goodwin served in a critical off-field role for former Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables, overseeing defensive breakdowns and opponent scouting, assisting with on-campus recruiting and also serving as one of the program’s primary liaisons to NFL scouting personnel and coaches.
Goodwin first arrived at Clemson in 2009, serving as a graduate assistant from 2009-11. He joined the staff on a full-time basis in 2012 in Venables’ first season at the helm of the defense and oversaw the team’s secondary for its 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl win against LSU. In the final season of his first stint at Clemson in 2014, Clemson finished as the nation’s top-ranked unit in total defense, third down percentage, first downs allowed and tackles for loss, all while ranking in the top five in many other statistical categories.
Between his stints at Clemson, Goodwin spent three years with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, serving as an assistant to head coach Bruce Arians. Cardinals squads for which Goodwin worked compiled a 28-19-1 record, including a 13-3 NFC West championship season in 2015 in which Arizona reached the NFC Championship Game.
“Wesley is one of the best young defensive minds I’ve had the opportunity to work with,” said Arians, who led his Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a title in Super Bowl LV last season. “He was with my staff for three years in Arizona and I saw him grow defensively, and offensively, that whole time. He has a bright, bright future. One thing is for sure – they are going to be an attacking type of defense and I know he is going to do great things with this opportunity.”
A native of Grove Hill, Ala, Goodwin, who will turn 37 on the eve of the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl, graduated from Mississippi State, earning his undergraduate degree in 2007 and Master’s degree in 2009 while working as a student assistant and graduate assistant for the Bulldogs.
Conn is in his sixth season on Clemson’s staff and his fifth in an on-field coaching capacity. Since his initial arrival at Clemson in 2016 following his acclaimed high school head coaching career at Georgia’s Grayson High School, Clemson is 60-8 and has produced a Top 15 unit in total defense in every season.
In 2017, Conn transitioned from his off-field senior defensive assistant position to an on-field role coaching Clemson’s safeties. In the time since, he has led four different safeties — Tanner Muse, K’Von Wallace, Nolan Turner and Andrew Mukuba — to a total of five All-ACC selections. This season, his guidance helped Mukuba earn ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year as well as consensus Freshman All-America status after helping the young safety become the first true freshman defensive back to start a season opener at Clemson since the NCAA instituted permanent freshman eligibility in 1972.
Two of Conn’s pupils, Muse and Turner, earned All-America honors in 2019 and 2020, respectively, marking the first time Clemson had a safety honored by NCAA-recognized All-America selectors in consecutive seasons since 1981-82, when Terry Kinard parlayed first-team honors by the AP and FWAA in 1981 into unanimous All-American honors in 1982. Conn and Reed were named Defensive Backs Coaches of the Year by FootballScoop for 2019.
Reed has helped the Tigers to a 109-15 record, six ACC Championships, four national championship game appearances and national titles in 2016 and 2018 since joining the Tigers in 2013.
Prior to joining the Tigers, Reed spent six seasons as defensive backs coach at NC State from 2007-12. He served on the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching staff from 2002-06, helping the Eagles to at least 10 wins in four of his five seasons and contributing to teams that made three consecutive NFC Championship Game appearances and earned a berth in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Reed has produced 12 All-ACC selections at cornerback in his nine seasons at Clemson, including six first-team selections and four first-team picks in the last three years. This season, Reed’s starting cornerback duo of Andrew Booth Jr. and Mario Goodrich swept first-team All-ACC honors, becoming the first pair of cornerbacks from a single school to both earn first-team honors since North Carolina’s Dre Bly and Robert Williams in 1997.
Bates is in his fifth season at Clemson after joining the Tigers in 2017. Between his tenures at Jacksonville State (2014-16) and Clemson (2017-20), every primary starter under his guidance over the last eight years has earned at least one career all-conference selection.
Clemson has ranked in the Top 10 in the nation in sacks in all five of Bates’ seasons with the Tigers. This year, both Tyler Davis and Bryan Bresee collected All-ACC honors, one year after Bresee was a Freshman All-American and earned ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020.
In addition to his success developing Clemson’s defensive interior, Bates has been recognized as one of the nation’s premier recruiters. In 2019, he was as named Rivals’ Recruiter of the Year for his contributions to Clemson’s 2020 recruiting class that ranked No. 1 nationally according to ESPN, No. 2 according to Rivals and No. 3 according to the 247 Composite. He was named as Clemson’s recruiting coordinator following the 2019 season.
Streeter is in his seventh full season as a full-time assistant coach at Clemson after rejoining the program prior to the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl. Clemson is 89-10 since his return, including six ACC titles, six College Football Playoff berths, four national championship berths and two national titles.
During his tenure, Streeter has helped produce two different Heisman Trophy finalists, including two-time finalist and 2016 runner-up Deshaun Watson, as well as 2020 runner-up Trevor Lawrence. Watson was a two-time winner of the Davey O’Brien and Manning Awards as the nation’s top quarterback, while Lawrence ended his career 34-2 as a starter, the third-best winning percentage by a starting quarterback with at least 30 career starts since Division I split in 1978.
In addition to his role as Quarterbacks Coach, Streeter served as the team’s recruiting coordinator from his arrival in December 2014 through the end of the 2019 season. In that time, he helped Clemson produce Top 10 classes in five out of those six recruiting cycles. That role transitioned to Bates in 2020 upon Streeter’s transition to Passing Game Coordinator for the last two seasons, including a 2020 campaign in which Clemson set a school record with 348.5 passing yards per game.
Richardson is in his sixth season on Clemson’s staff after having served in numerous capacities, including tenures as Senior Offensive Assistant and Director of Player Development and Freshman Transition.
Richardson has been a key off-field contributor to Clemson’s offensive success since his arrival in 2016. Clemson’s balanced attack has resulted in the Tigers being one of only three teams in the country with at least 16,000 cumulative rushing yards and at least 23,000 total passing yards across those six seasons.
Prior to coming to Clemson, Richardson was one of South Carolina’s most successful high school coaches during his tenure at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, S.C. From 2011-15, he led the Trojans to a 58-13 record, including four region championships, three state title game appearances and state championships in both 2013 and 2015.
Richardson, 43, earned his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State in 2001 and has two Master’s degrees, including a Master’s in athletic leadership from Clemson.
“I am excited and energized by this deserved opportunity for so many members of our staff in new roles,” Swinney said. “But most of all, I’m happiest for our players. More than anybody, they know what this group of coaches is capable of, and our players’ excitement to see them in these roles has been amazing.”
The promotions and changes come following the departures of Brent Venables and Tony Elliott, both of whom parlayed Clemson’s immense success in their combined 21 seasons at Clemson into Power Five Conference head coaching jobs this month. Clemson’s current staff will coach the Tigers in the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl, where Clemson will face the Iowa State Cyclones in Orlando, Fla. on Wednesday, Dec. 29. Fans are encouraged to visit ClemsonTigers.com/Bowl2021 for ticket information, travel packages, merchandise and more.
FULL COMMENTS FROM DABO SWINNEY:
“I’m happy for those who have received the opportunity to go be head coaches and some of our younger staff and peripheral staff that may have some opportunities to go with them as well, but those changes create opportunity here. And, man, I’m just really, really excited about the people that we have in place.
“I’ve always taken a lot of pride in developing our players and developing our team, but I also take a lot of pride in developing our staff. Sometimes it’s not feasible to promote from within, but these were really easy decisions for me, just like it was an easy decision for me in 2014 to name Tony [Elliott] as the play caller and Jeff [Scott] to be a co-coordinator.
“I’m super excited about Wes being the defensive coordinator and Mickey being the co-coordinator, and I’m similarly excited for the opportunity to promote Mike Reed to be the special teams coordinator and Todd Bates to be our assistant head coach to fill that void that Tony left behind. We have a wonderful staff.
“Offensively, there’s nobody more deserving than Brandon Streeter. Unlike Tony and Jeff in 2014, he’s called a lot of plays in his day. He was a coordinator when I hired him, and he left being a coordinator to come to Clemson. What an amazing job he did with Deshaun Watson, an amazing job he did recruiting and developing Trevor Lawrence and what he’s done from a passing game standpoint. Last year, we passed for more yards per game than any Clemson team ever. He’s just so deserving, so well-prepared. He’s had opportunities to go to the NFL, he’s had multiple opportunities to go be an offensive coordinator in the SEC and elsewhere, but ‘Street’ has stayed here and has been patient knowing an opportunity would come — and that time has come. I’m really excited for him to take the reins and lead us into this bowl game and into the 2022 season.
“And I’m also excited to hire Kyle Richardson. Man, Kyle was one of the best high school coaches in the entire Southeast. Talk about a guy that’s been patient. I hired him, I think he was coming off his third straight state championship appearance, and the same thing as Streeter: he’s had opportunities and he’s stayed here for a chance to coach at Clemson. He is one of the brightest and most well-prepared guys that we have to step into this role and be the tight ends coach and passing game coordinator. He has got a great acumen for football. He brings great leadership ability from being a head coach for a long time. This is a great next step for him. He’s done a lot of different things within our program in support staff roles, and I’m just really excited to see him have this opportunity just like when I hired Mickey a few years ago but we hadn’t had any change that gave us an opportunity to get him on the field until now. I’m so thankful that he stayed patient and thankful that now I’ve got the opportunity to hire him.
“Our staff is set. We’ll have some other things that will take place as far support staff and things like that that we are restructuring, but I’m really happy for them. Thad Turnipseed, I can’t say enough about him. He’s got a great opportunity with Brent and I’m happy for Brent because Thad can help him for sure. I’m so thankful for Thad; he’s been with me now for many years, and what an unbelievable job he did in helping me navigate so many different things from an external affairs standpoint, facilities, you name it. He’s got a chance to really go be the chief of staff for Brent and really help him in a lot of areas that Brent wants them to grow in. Happy for Thad and his wife, Melissa, and I’m thankful for them.
“Moving forward, I am excited and energized by this deserved opportunity for so many members of our staff in new roles. But most of all, I’m happiest for our players. More than anybody, they know what this group of coaches is capable of, and our players’ excitement to see them in these roles has been amazing.”