5 Worst Head Coaching Hires in Clemson Football History

Clemson Tigers Football has hired some great head coaches, but it has had its fair share of misses as well. Here are the five worst head coaching hires in the program's history.

Sep 28, 1991; Clemson, SC, USA; FILE PHOTO;  Clemson Tigers head coach Ken Hatfield
Sep 28, 1991; Clemson, SC, USA; FILE PHOTO; Clemson Tigers head coach Ken Hatfield / RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
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Red Parker

Remember that I said the 1992 campaign was Clemson’s first losing season since 1976? Red Parker was the coach that season, and it ended up being his last.

Jimmy Dale "Red" Parker cut his teeth as the head coach at Arkansas A&M (today known as the University of Arkansas at Monticello) and The Citadel. He had winning records at both programs and turned the Bulldogs into an annual contender in the Southern Conference.

He took over the Tigers in 1973. In his second season, he got the Tigers to 7-4, which was Clemson’s first winning record since 1967 under legendary head coach Frank Howard. Clemson finished tied for second in the ACC with NC State.

That was the highlight of Parker’s tenure, unfortunately. Clemson bottomed out in 1975 at 2-9. Parker was 3-6-2 in 1976 and was informed he would need to make changes to his coaching staff. He refused and was subsequently dismissed by athletic director Bill McClellan.

Parker is given credit in hindsight for laying much of the foundation that would lead to years of success under Pell and Ford, but in the end, he finished with only a 40.9% win rate, which merits his inclusion on this list.

Next: Stein Stone