Swinney dips into Alabama family tree for new defensive line coach
|Sunday, January 22, 2017 9:04 PM- -|
TigerNet learned early Sunday evening that Jacksonville St. defensive line coach Todd Bates has been offered the job and accepted the offer. His hire is dependent on the university background check.
Clemson lost both defensive line coaches in a six-day span last week – defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks announced his retirement and ends coach Hobby took a similar position with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
Swinney moved former Alabama teammate and defensive analyst Mickey Conn into a full-time staff role, coaching the corners, and picked up Bates this past weekend. Bates is expected to be the defensive line coach for the foreseeable future, but when a 10th full-time coach is added in April it’s expected that former Alabama standout and current defensive analyst Lemanski Hall will step into a role on the defensive line.
Bates just finished his third season at Jacksonville St., but he was recruited at Alabama by Swinney. Bates played for the Crimson Tide from 2001-2004 and graduated in 2005 with a degree in Business Management. While playing for the Crimson Tide, Bates was the only true freshman to play for the Tide in 2001. He was also selected SEC Defensive Player of the Week twice, and named permanent team captain for the 2004 season.
After college, Bates played for the Tennessee Titans as a defensive end from 2005 through the 2006 season.
Bates began his coaching career at Talladega High School in 2007. The following year, he coached at Oxford High School under current JSU head coach John Grass, where he was an assistant football coach for the Yellow Jackets, as well as the head strength and conditioning coach. He spent the next two years at Idaho State coaching the defensive line.
The Tigers had an unprecedented run of success and stability under Brooks and Hobby. Hobby had been at Clemson since 2011, and Brooks landed at Clemson after Tennessee coach Philip Fulmer was fired at the end of the 2008 season.
Until last week, Clemson hadn’t seen a coaching change on the defensive side of the ball since Mike Reed was hired to coach the secondary in 2013, and there had been no changes on staff since former offensive coordinator Chad Morris left to become the head coach at SMU two years ago.
Once the background check is complete, look for an official announcement from the school.