Clemson, SC--Mike O'Cain, former Head Coach at NC State and most recently
offensive coordinator at North Carolina, has joined Tommy Bowden's staff at
Clemson as quarterbacks coach. O'Cain is a 1977 Clemson graduate who was
the Tigers MVP as a punter and quarterback in 1976. O'Cain gives Bowden
two offensive assistants who have head coaching experience in major
Division I conferences. Brad Scott, former head coach at South Carolina
(1994-98) is Clemson's offensive coordinator.
O'Cain replaces Rich Rodriguez as quarterbacks coach. He resigned
last week to become head coach at West Virginia.
O'Cain was the head coach at NC State from 1993-99. He posted a
41-40 record during that time and coached the Wolfpack to three bowl
appearances. In 1998, he took the Pack to a 7-5 record, including a
victory over Florida State, one of just two ACC losses for the Seminoles
since they joined the ACC. NC State led the ACC in passing and total
offense that year and featured wide receiver Torry Holt, a consensus
In 1993 he led the Pack to a 7-4 regular season record and a berth
in the Hall of Fame Bowl against Michigan. He was the nation's only
rookie head coach to take a program to a bowl game. In 1994, O'Cain took
the Pack to a school record tying nine wins, including a 28-24 win over
Mississippi State in the Peach Bowl. Only Lou Holtz (1972-75) posted more
wins in his first two seasons at NC State than O'Cain's 16 wins, while his
10 ACC wins during that time are the best ever for an NC State coach in his
first two years.
This past year he served as offensive coordinator at North
Carolina. His offense gained 4082 yards, including 222 per game passing.
He coached Tar Heel quarterback Ronald Curry to an average of 243 yards per
game in total offense, 24th best in the nation.
"When you look at our staff and reflect on the season, hiring Mike
O'Cain is the best option for improving our team," said Clemson Head Coach
Tommy Bowden. "His qualifications are pretty obvious. He is a tremendous
teacher and with his background at Clemson and with his recruiting base in
North and South Carolina, I thought it was the perfect combination of what
we need at this point in time.
"I have known Mike for a while and I have always followed his
career. Even when I was coaching in the SEC he really got my attention when
he was at NC State. Then, in 1998 he beat Florida State. Since I have
been at Clemson his offenses have been very productive against us.
"His teams always play extremely hard and I think that is a
reflection of his personality. I feel very fortunate to add a coach of his
caliber to our staff."
O'Cain was Clemson's team MVP in 1976 when he played quarterback
and was the team's top punter. He lettered for the Tigers from 1974-76.
He held the Clemson record for yards rushing in a game by a quarterback
(140 vs. NC State in 1976) for nearly 20 years until Louis Solomon broke
the record in 1994.
O'Cain is a native of Orangeburg, SC and Orangeburg-Wilkinson High
School, ironically, the school that produced current Clemson quarterback
Woodrow Dantzler. O'Cain will be Dantzler's coach next year. O'Cain is
slated to attend the Gator Bowl, but won't have any coaching duties until
the beginning of Spring practice.
"I would first like to thank Tommy for this great opportunity,"
said O'Cain. "This could not come at a better time for me personally and
my family and I are really excited about coming back to Clemson.
"I grew up only wanting to play for Clemson and I think deep down I
have always had an interest in returning one day. I still have many
friends at Clemson and any time you can return to your alma mater it is
something very special. I am also very familiar with the staff there and I
really look forward to working with everyone."