Clemson football officially “moving forward” as Dabo Swinney formally introduced three new members of his staff Thursday during a press conference.
Chad Morris is the new offensive coordinator for the Tigers, replacing Billy Napier. Morris served as the offensive coordinator at Tulsa in 2010, his first season in any capacity at the collegiate level. Napier’s Tiger attack was ranked #88 in total offense for the 2010 season, whereas Tulsa’s Morris led offense was ranked #5. Perhaps more impressive was the significant improvement shown on Tulsa’s offense from 2009 (pre-Morris) to 2010. The Golden Hurricanes improved nationally in passing from 32nd to 13th, 58th to 15th in rushing, 35th to 5th in total offense, and 44th to 8th in scoring. That is precisely the type of spark Swinney is looking for his Clemson offense “moving forward.”
Former Tiger Tony Elliott was introduced as the new running backs coach, replacing Andre Powell. Elliott walked onto the Clemson football team as a freshman, and eventually earned a scholarship his final two seasons as a wide receiver. Elliott was a co-captain on the 2003 Clemson football team, recording 23 receptions for 286 yards and 1 TD. Dabo Swinney was Elliott’s position coach that season, so the two have a history. Elliott served as wide receivers coach at Furman since 2008, helping lead the Paladins to top 25 scoring rankings each of the past 2 seasons.
Marion Hobby is the new defensive ends coach, replacing the departed Chris Rumph who left for greener pastures in Alabama. Hobby spent the past 3 years as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach for David Cutcliffe’s staff at Duke. He also worked on Cutcliffe’s staff at Ole Miss from 1999-04. This isn’t Hobby’s first rodeo in Clemson, as he was the defensive line coach for the Tigers in 2005. He also has NFL experience, serving as an assistant for the New Orleans Saints in 2006 and 2007.