5 Clemson Football coaches who could be head coaches one day

While the main criticism of Dabo Swinney's 2023 staff was a lack of experience, there were multiple names who could be on a trajectory to become head coaches in the future.

Nov 11, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers offensive coordinator Garrett Riley
Nov 11, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers offensive coordinator Garrett Riley / Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
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Wes Goodwin

I’m going to admit that if I did a post about the coaches and analysts on the staff that could be with the Clemson Tigers for a very long time Wes Goodwin’s name might be the first one on it. He is only in his second season as the defensive coordinator. I think a lot of people outside of Clemson still think of him as an ‘experiment’ by Swinney.

On the other hand, if Goodwin’s defenses keep performing the way the 2023 unit did, it might not be all that long before people become convinced that he is truly the mad defensive genius that Swinney sold him as during the spring of 2022.

As we approach this season, there are a few concerns with the defense. There isn’t much depth at defensive end or cornerback. Despite that, there are several reasons to be excited.

The Tigers have multiple rising sophomores who emerged as freshmen in 2023. We all thought Peter Woods was that good. We all hoped TJ Parker would be that good eventually, and we didn’t have to wait long.

I don’t know if anyone expected Khalil Barnes, Avieon Terrell, and Shelton Lewis to step up that quickly. I also don’t think anyone expected Kylon Griffin to be slightly ahead of Barnes on this list of safeties from PFF.

Beyond that, there is Vic Burley who missed most of last season due to injury. Oh, don’t forget these two guys named Barrett Carter and RJ Mickens who decided the pros could wait one more season.

Nothing is a slam dunk (sophomore slumps are real things) but there is potential for this defense to be as good or better than last season’s group. If that keeps up, it won’t be long until perceptions of Goodwin as an ‘experiment’ change and he becomes someone schools consider head coaching material.

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