Clemson, SC-Head Coach Tommy Bowden has announced that David
Blackwell, most recently the linebackers coach at the University of
Pittsburgh, has joined his staff at Clemson. Blackwell, a native
of Greenville and a graduate of Berea High School, fills the opening
on Bowden's staff that was created when Rodney Allison left Clemson
in December to become the head coach at UT Chattanooga.
Blackwell, 31, had been with the Pittsburgh program each of
the last three years under Head Coach Walt Harris. He was a big
part of the Panthers resurgence on the gridiron the last three years.
Pittsburgh went to a bowl game each year, including 2002 when the
Panthers defeated Oregon State in the Insight Bowl, 38-13.
That victory gave Pittsburgh a 9-4 record and a #18 final ranking in
the ESPN/ USA Today Coach's poll, a #19 ranking by Associated Press.
The Pittsburgh defense had a lot to do with the Panthers success, as
the point prevention unit ranked 14th in the nation in scoring
defense, 12th in total defense, 15th in pass efficiency defense and
24th in rushing defense.
"We are very excited to have David join our staff," said Bowden.
"Pittsburgh has made a strong improvement over the last three years
and David has had a lot to do with that. He is an outstanding coach
on the field, and is also a terrific recruiter. As I made my
background checks on him, his abilities as a recruiter were a
consistent theme. Prior to his career at Pittsburgh he was the
recruiting coordinator at Illinois State for four years. He
obviously knows this area of the country.
"We have not determined which position he will coach, but we know he
will be a part of our defensive staff."
The performance of the Pittsburgh linebackers certainly had a lot to
do with the team's success in recent years. Gerald Hayes was an
All-American and three-time all-conference selection under Blackwell.
He had at least 100 tackles each of the last three seasons. Six of
his players during previous coaching positions have signed NFL
contracts. More should join the league this year.
Blackwell worked as a defensive assistant coach at Illinois State for
four seasons prior to coming to Pittsburgh. He was the defensive
line coach in 1996 and 1997 and the linebackers coach in 1998 and
1999. He was the recruiting coordinator all four seasons and had
recruiting priorities in Florida and central Illinois.
Over his four years in Normal, IL, Blackwell coached three
All-Americans and 11 all-conference players. In 1996 his defensive
line accounted for 38 of the team's 47 sacks, the second highest
total in school history. The 1999 team finished number-two in the
nation at the Division I-AA level with a school best 11-3 record.
The team also won the school's first ever conference championship.
In 1999, Galen Scott, one of Blackwell's linebackers, had 173
tackles, including 27 in one game, both school records. Scott was
named an All-American that season.
Blackwell began his college football experience at East Carolina.
He came to the Greenville, NC based school in 1990 as a freshman
offensive lineman. That season he graded 85 percent in a game against
Florida State. In 1991, a year in which East Carolina posted an 11-1
record and a #9 ranking in the final AP poll, Blackwell suffered a
career ending neck injury.
The following season, Blackwell served as an undergraduate assistant
coach with the Pirates. In 1993-94-95 he coached the rush end
linebackers. He helped East Carolina to two Liberty Bowl berths
during that time.
Blackwell is a 1997 graduate of East Carolina University with a
Bachelor of Science degree. He is married to the former Melissa