Many may only know him from the now famous fourth quarter video that gets played at every home football game in Clemson these days, but Joey Batson is far more than a guy in a video. For the past 22 years, Batson has been the Director of Strength Training at Clemson University, playing an instrumental role in the Tigers football program over that time frame.
A native of Travelers Rest, Batson will be honored by his hometown tomorrow night by being inducted into the Travelers Rest High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He graduated from the school in 1979, after a storied career as a Devildog.
He was a three-year, two-way starter for the Devildog football team, playing tight end and defensive end. During the 1977 season, Batson was an integral part of the Devildog team that won the Peach Blossom Conference II Championship and earned a spot in the 3A State Football Playoffs.
In 1978, Batson was named the Greenville News Piedmont Player of the Week after a 22-0 upset victory over Woodmont High School. He was named an All-Conference performer in 1977 and 1978. He was named to the 1977 All-State team, as well as the 1978 All-Greenville County team. He was also a member of the Devildog track team in 1977 and 1978.
Batson made history in 1975 as part of the first group in the school’s history to be part of a formal strength training, conditioning and weightlifting program. He went on to be one of the elite, drug-free powerlifters in the nation, placing in the top five in national meets in California and Illinois.
After graduation, Batson earned a scholarship to The Citadel, where he played football, before transferring to Newberry College, where he was a two-year lettermen and served as a co-captain his senior year. He is a 1985 graduate of Newberry College and later earned a Master’s degree from Clemson University in 1988.
Batson is in his 33rd year as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the collegiate level,, and at the top of his game when it comes to the job he loves. Batson was hired into his current position at Clemson back in 1997, and has worked for three different head football coaches at the school. He’s also had a tremendous impact throughout the state of South Carolina, not only at this level, but also at many notable high school programs, including teams that have won state championships.
Before Batson came back to Clemson, he was the first full-time Director of Strength Training at Furman University. In 1996, he was named Strength & Conditioning Professional-of-the-Year in the Southern Conference by the National Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association after the Paladins made it to the second round of the NCAA 1-AA playoffs. In addition to his four years at Furman, he also worked as the first full-time Director of Strength & Conditioning at Bowling Green State University, and served a year at the University of South Carolina as Assistant Director of Strength & Conditioning.
Along with these accolades, Batson is the star of the video that makes most Clemson Football fans want to run through a wall and tackle anyone in sight every time it is played.
“They don’t put championship rings on smooth hands! You gotta go earn it!”
Clemson has been extremely fortunate to have Batson as a part of the staff, and tomorrow night in his hometown he is getting the recognition he deserves, and has earned. Congratulations to Coach Joey Batson. Clemson Nation thanks you for all your hard work, including the time and effort you’ve put into this university throughout an illustrious career.