Swinney might have to wait for addition of 10th coach

by - Senior Writer -
Swinney might have to wait until next January to add a 10th coach
Swinney might have to wait until next January to add a 10th coach

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s desire to add a 10th coach to his staff might have to wait until 2018.

A recent rules proposal from the American Football Coaches Association received unanimous support among NCAA head coaches about adding a 10th full-time assistant coach, with members citing overall student-athlete welfare and the ability to create a better player-to-coach ratio.

Swinney’s hope – and the hope of college coaches around the country – was that a 10th coach could be added in the spring.

Swinney dealt with the loss of two coaches in a short amount of time – longtime defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks announced his retirement shortly before defensive ends coach Marion Hobby headed to the NFL. Swinney moved quickly and brought in Mickey Conn, who will coach in the secondary.

When Hobby left, Swinney once again moved quickly and hired Todd Bates to coach the defensive line. Swinney hoped to add another coach in the spring.

“There is some legislation coming on board with the NCAA, and hopefully the 10th coach will pass here in a couple of months,” Swinney said. “We have kind of planned for that. I have had a plan in place for that for a while. Being able to get Mickey out on the field and out on the recruiting trail right now was critical. He is a younger Dan Brooks. He's coached high school ball a long time, and he really understands the recruiting process. He's been on the other side of it for many, many years. He is going to do a great job.

“And to be able to get that extra coach, I wanted to have two defensive line coaches and two secondary coaches. We will eventually get back to that. That is kind of where we were initially, because I had Hobby and he was going to handle the defensive line until we got a 10th coach, and then we could get back to having two defensive line coaches. Then this came up with Hobby. But I had a good plan on what direction I wanted to go.”

While the NCAA’s Division I Council is still expected to approve the addition of a 10th coach for FBS programs in April, a proposed amendment presented Tuesday would change the date teams can hire a 10th coach until January 2018.

"There are many concerns with the timing of the current immediate effective date,” the Football Oversight Committee’s amendment reads. “An April effective date is in the middle of the budget year for the membership and is late in the hiring period for a football staff. If the effective date is amended to occur to the conclusion of the 2017 football season, member institutions will have the opportunity to budget for the addition of a full-time countable coach and associated costs related to recruiting. In addition, a delayed effective date will better fit the hiring timeline for a football staff and will not require readjustments following the spring practice period."

The proposal will have to be approved by the council in April to pass.

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