Only time will tell if C.J. Spiller can be as great at coaching as he was at playing football.
Spiller, the new running backs coach for Clemson, has made it very clear how thankful he is for the opportunity head coach Dabo Swinney has given him to do something that he loves. He has not stopped there, though. Spiller is also grateful that offensive coordinator Tony Elliott allowed him to do something that not many people get a chance at doing.
“I’m not going to sit here and say I know everything because I’m new to it,” Spiller said. “But I think last year gave me a jumpstart of what to expect and being able to sit in on Coach Elliott’s room, and to see how he commanded a room, the way he engaged with the guys, he gave me a first glimpse of what it takes to be successful. So I’m always going to be grateful for Coach Elliott.”
Spiller also discussed his feelings about his new position, just how quickly he got this chance to do what he loves, and the fact that he knew it was for him.
“I just knew that this was my calling,” Spiller said. “I know some people say, ‘This is their job,’ to me, this is my calling. I got that itch when I was helping with those high school students, and that’s kind of where it started. I didn’t know how quickly it would come.
Going from being a player to coaching definitely has it’s adjustments. He talked about one of the biggest adjustments. The adjustment of players calling him “Coach.”
“I’m still getting used to that,” Spiller said. “I’ve been in it now for almost a month, and you hear the players coming and saying, ‘Coach, Coach Spiller,’ it takes some time to get adjusted to it. It’s not a foreign language to me, but it still takes some time to get used to.” Spiller said in his first post-practice conference as the running backs coach.”
Spiller says that he has been preparing for this opportunity for quite some time. However, despite this being his first year as a full-time assistant, in some ways he already sounds like a wily veteran.
“I was always praying on it, but I was prepared,” Spiller said. “I was always preparing myself for when that time does come. But there are still some things that I will learn along the way.