5 Best Coaching Hires of the Dabo Swinney Era

In Dabo Swinney's fifteen full seasons as coach, there have been a lot of coaches and analysts who have come into the program. Here are his five best hires.

Brent Venables
Brent Venables / Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Chad Morris

In the last few years, Swinney has tended to hire from within, sometimes promoting guys who didn’t have a lot of experience in the roles they were getting. That hasn’t always worked out, and Swinney has taken some heat for certain choices that haven’t worked out.

There have been some choices from years past that have worked out very well, and a great example is Chad Morris.

It isn’t fair to say Morris hadn’t been coaching for a long time. His career started in 1994, so he had sixteen seasons of experience when he was hired as Clemson’s offensive coordinator in 2011. The caveat is that fifteen of those seasons were in high school football.

Morris’s first experience as a college football coach came in 2010 at Tulsa. He had indeed built a reputation as an innovator in Texas football, but there was little proof of concept beyond one season in charge of the Golden Hurricane offense.

Swinney didn’t let a little detail like that get in the way. Morris’s arrival coincided with Tajh Boyd assuming the starting quarterback role with a sophomore named DeAndre Hopkins and a freshman named Sammy Watkins at receiver. That was good timing.

The Tigers took a giant leap from the season before and grabbed the ACC Championship for the first time in many years. Most of Clemson’s biggest accomplishments of the Swinney era happened after Morris left the program, but he was a significant reason why some of those heights were achievable in the first place.

Next: No. 3 Nick Eason