Dabo Swinney has a plan for potential staff movement

Steve Robinson, vice-president Chick-fil-A Bowl, Gary Stokan, President & CEO, Dan Radakovich, Clemson athletic director, and Dabo Swinney, Clemson football coach, during a press conference to formally invite Clemson to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on December 31.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Steve Robinson, vice-president Chick-fil-A Bowl, Gary Stokan, President & CEO, Dan Radakovich, Clemson athletic director, and Dabo Swinney, Clemson football coach, during a press conference to formally invite Clemson to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on December 31.

— Dabo Swinney doesn’t have his head stuck in the sand.

Clemson’s fourth-year head coach believes the foundation to a successful program is built with talented assistants. That’s why Clemson is paying $4.2 million to its assistant coaching staff this season – the highest figure in America.

Swinney anticipates all staff on hand for bowl

None

Offensive coordinator Chad Morris makes $1.3 million annually as the nation’s highest-paid assistant, and defensive coordinator Brent Venables makes $800,000; together, they’re the highest-paid coordinator duo.

So it’s no surprise, given Clemson’s back-to-back 10-win seasons, that other programs would have interest in those assistants.

That’s what Swinney is dealing with this week. Morris has been connected to openings at N.C. State, Auburn and South Florida, and defensive backs coach/co-defensive coordinator Charlie Harbison is believed to have interest from Auburn and new coach Gus Malzahn.

It just goes with the territory, Swinney said Friday.

“That’s the business,” he said at a press conference for the Tigers’ New Year’s Eve Chick-fil-A Bowl date against LSU. “It’s not like that’s an isolated issue. This business, the month of December, January, sometimes into February, things present themselves from time to time. I don’t get caught up and comment on things that are just rumors. We’ve got a plan of preparation we’ll execute, and we’ve got a great staff. There’s always going to be things come up that you have to evaluate. That’s all there is to it. I don’t look at it as a distraction.”

When asked directly if Harbison had been contacted by Auburn, Swinney said he’s “not going to comment on any personnel issues,” which would also apply to Morris’ situation.

ESPN reported that Morris would interview with South Florida Friday, but he shot down the report. He was on campus Friday and will be at Clemson’s first bowl practice today before watching former Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen in Indianapolis Sunday.

“If I make a comment on personnel issue, it’s not going to be on a rumor. It’s going to be because there’s a transaction and a comment to be made about it,” Swinney said. “I don’t deal in rumors. I anticipate all of our staff being here. From time to time, if change happens, with the program we’ve built, we’ve put one in place that will respond appropriately and attract great coaches.”

Swinney said he welcomes his coaches having opportunities to advance, and added that sometimes coaching rumors that become public are only half of the story.

“When I was an assistant, I wanted to be head coach one day, and I had opportunities to visit with people from time to time,” he said. “Sometimes people know about it and it gets out, a lot of times people don’t know about it. We had a few coaches last year who were approached by different people that nobody knew about, and the year before. Sometimes that stuff stays confidential, sometimes it gets thrown out to the media. Most of the stuff you hear is what it is, rumor.”

In Swinney’s eyes, it’s better to have a staff that others want than the opposite.

“I love having a staff that wants to be the best. Guys having opportunities to further themselves, I have no problem with that at all,” he said. “You want to have a quality staff that is going to have opportunities to advance their career from time to time. When that happens, you go hire another quality coach and move forward.”

Clemson will hold the first of 10 bowl practices this morning. The Tigers have done some running and lifting this week, and junior quarterback Tajh Boyd says his teammates are ready to resume the grind.

“There were no guys complaining that they were ready for the season to be over,” he said. “It’s a one-game season now, with 20-some days to prepare. Christmas is coming up, and you don’t see too many guys getting ready to go home for Christmas. It’s an important game for the program, and we’re excited about playing (LSU).”

Swinney said he doesn’t look at beating LSU as “redemption” for Nov. 24’s 27-17 loss to South Carolina.

“We want to create positive energy and momentum,” he said. “We want to win this bowl game because it’s our last game. If we don’t win the game, we’ll pick up and go back to work but there’s a lot of time before you play again – a lot of excitement when you win. Players will be excited to go play, get the opportunity to play against one of the best teams in the country.”

Clemson’s new $10 million indoor practice facility is nearly complete, and Swinney said he expects his team to be in by Tuesday. The only thing needed is an official certificate of occupancy.

“We’re excited about that,” he said. “If there’s a nicer indoor facility out there, I have to see it. It’s spectacular. I can’t say thanks enough to our administration and IPTAY for what they’ve provided our student-athletes. It’s a game-changer.”

© 2012 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 28

Bigboots writes:

Hey Coach, please disregard the manifesto shown above.

lhaselden writes:

jd... did ya read the user agreement?
" You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned."

Bleedsorange writes:

Just another one who likes to argue on the internet, ignore him like a SC troll.

Bigboots writes:

in response to jdl031287#282299:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yo Scribble-scrabble, I don't want to see Randy Shannon in my state. Your comments explain why someone such as yourself would be an avid follower.

TigerNE writes:

The most annoying thing for me about Swinney is that he never fails when talking in public to consider the team might loose. He almost always says out loud something like he said above, "If we don’t win the game, we’ll pick up and go back to work...". Coaches and players should NEVER consider loosing as an option. Why even say it to us???? Is this an attitude he shares with the team?

3jesters writes:

Agree TigerNE! Swinney is nothing more than a glorified cheerleader and not a good Xs & Os
football coach e.g. loses to USuC. He doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut..."Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt".

cuGIZ82 writes:

I like our chances to win this bowl game as long as we can stay balance on offense. I felt like our guys were able to run the ball vs FSU and SC but in both of those games the OC went away from the run game. It seems as if Morris becomes impatient and does not want to take what the D is giving him.

SC was having a difficult time stopping our running backs and our O line seems to be better run blockers than pass blockers. I really hope we pound the rock with the run game. Even if we only avg 3yds per run play we should continue to run the ball to set up play action.

TrevorT writes:

in response to TigerNE:

The most annoying thing for me about Swinney is that he never fails when talking in public to consider the team might loose. He almost always says out loud something like he said above, "If we don’t win the game, we’ll pick up and go back to work...". Coaches and players should NEVER consider loosing as an option. Why even say it to us???? Is this an attitude he shares with the team?

I support Swinney in most things but I have to agree with you on this one. Why lower expectations before the first snap?

ManTiger writes:

I hope Dabo prepares this team better than he did in last year Orange bowl. But seeing how he thinks losing is a good possibility. I doubt it. Just a holiday bowl.My opinion

CUNo1Fan writes:

in response to TrevorT:

I support Swinney in most things but I have to agree with you on this one. Why lower expectations before the first snap?

Got to agree with both of you on this one. A coach should never breath losing until after the game is over and you lost. It should always be about winning.

Bigboots writes:

What race? I didnt see any reference to race?
I find that the real racists are usually the first to accuse others of racism. Also screamed by people who can't discuss anything on an intelligent level otherwise. So.

BrandonRink (staff) writes:

Alright guys - discuss the stories and comment civilly with each other about them, but leave out the name-calling, threats and remarks about intelligence. We're not going to have flame-war between commenters. This site is about talking Clemson sports and let's stick to that.

TigerNE writes:

in response to sennmanthetigerfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's as if Swinney is telling everyone that 'they all get gold stars for trying', or something. It annoys the heck out of me. I don't expect some trash-mouth bad boy, but if you look at winning coaches in the last decade where there is a little more softness overall, they still only consider how to win. Never, 'if we fail...'. Good grief!!

bravefreak1995 writes:

in response to cuGIZ82:

I like our chances to win this bowl game as long as we can stay balance on offense. I felt like our guys were able to run the ball vs FSU and SC but in both of those games the OC went away from the run game. It seems as if Morris becomes impatient and does not want to take what the D is giving him.

SC was having a difficult time stopping our running backs and our O line seems to be better run blockers than pass blockers. I really hope we pound the rock with the run game. Even if we only avg 3yds per run play we should continue to run the ball to set up play action.

Yes. Very wise assessment!

Bigboots writes:

Randy Shannon at Miami.
Record of 16-16 in conference.
Not impressive.
And lost 16 conference games at one of the dirtiest programs around.
Nope. Still don't want him within 300 miles.

bravefreak1995 writes:

in response to cuGIZ82:

I like our chances to win this bowl game as long as we can stay balance on offense. I felt like our guys were able to run the ball vs FSU and SC but in both of those games the OC went away from the run game. It seems as if Morris becomes impatient and does not want to take what the D is giving him.

SC was having a difficult time stopping our running backs and our O line seems to be better run blockers than pass blockers. I really hope we pound the rock with the run game. Even if we only avg 3yds per run play we should continue to run the ball to set up play action.

Yes. Stick to the run game to open up the play action with Sammy and Nuk that will create more scoring opportunities.

Bigboots writes:

Have you ever been reading something, just kind of wading through the swamp that is scribble-scrabble at its finest, and suddenly the text transitions into coherent passages of enlightenment, as if it were cut and pasted without a thought given to crediting the actual source? Just curious.
That happened to me recently.

Bigboots writes:

A simple yes or no would have been sufficient, but thanks for your input. I guess. And nice job on all the cool texting shorcuts.

Bigboots writes:

I am, whatever you said, all that and more, no doubt. And you are infatuated with me. And how I get my rocks off, as you say.
So what does that say about you?
What time should the basketball team take off their warmups this evening? You who are so capable of planning the smaller details.

Bigboots writes:

Final comment on this story. It is long enough. I won't read these comments anymore. I win.

Bigboots writes:

What a cornshucker. I knew you'd fall for it. It's just too easy.
Puppet.

Bigboots writes:

Somebody sure enough loves him some Randy Shannon.
Or, excuse me, randy Shannon, as it were. I am just not as impressed. Which makes me a racist according to some. I never got the official list of opinions that make one a racist. But I guess not thinking randy is the greatest must be on there. Somewhere. I didn't say what my own race is, nor comment on anyone else's race for that matter. But since I don't have the race rules, I don't know exactly how it all works.

Bigboots writes:

Dude has a fixation with my scrotch.

GregWallace (staff) writes:

Guys: The vulgarity on this comment thread is simply unacceptable. There's nothing wrong with debate and disagreement, but the name-calling, trolling, pettiness and ugly charges need to stop. It won't happen on this site. You have been warned.

3jesters writes:

This site will not allow your post if it's negative towards Swinney i.e. like the liberal news media when it comes to Obama !

Bigboots writes:

I appreciate efforts by the staff to restore some order.
I express my opinion, and I get one dude wanting to talk about his race, and another reaching for my manparts.
I think these two have a mutual crush based on comments they have posted.

68Scot writes:

GregWallace (staff) writes:

Guys: The vulgarity on this comment thread is simply unacceptable. There's nothing wrong with debate and disagreement, but the name-calling, trolling, pettiness and ugly charges need to stop. It won't happen on this site. You have been warned.
You are much to lax. As soon as someone threatens another commenter he should be banned. No if's, and's or but's.

clempsonmark writes:

It is sad that a few can ruin a good blog.

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