Clemson fans are patiently waiting to see if head coach Dabo Swinney’s coaching tree will branch out a little further over the next few weeks.
One thing head coaches like Nick Saban. for instance, are graded on are their coaching tree. Swinney’s tree had just three branches, head coach wise, when you count former offensive coordinator Chad Morris’ time as SMU and then Arkansas head coach.
Then you have the Tigers former offensive coordinator who Morris replaced in 2011, Billy Napier, who was the head man at Louisiana-Lafayette until he was announced as the new head coach at Florida on Sunday.
The third on that tree is former co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott who took over the reigns at South Florida back in 2020. Scott is the only on that list, to this point, that can also say he helped Clemson bring home two national titles while an assistant (2016 and 2018).
Now, there is a very good possibility that Swinney’s tree could grow by two more in just a short period of time with Brent Venables’ name being linked to the opening at Oklahoma after Lincoln Riley shocked the Sooners by accepting the head coaching job at USC.
There have even been unsubstantiated reports out there that Venables has already agreed in principle to take the job. However, as of Tuesday morning Venables was with Swinney in Kansas visiting Clemson commit Jaren Kanak.
Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is another possibility when it comes to taking that next step and becoming a head coach. The number of vacancies seems to be growing by the hour right now, and Elliott has often seen his name linked to open jobs over the years. He was linked to the TCU opening at one time, but that job has since been filled.
The Virginia Tech job is another opening Elliott has been linked to. With so many openings at the moment, he’s bound to see him name linked to more. Maybe not the big ones, but some of the others that will come open in the ripple effect that is coming once those big jobs are filled.
Where the future leads no one knows. The only thing known for sure right now is everything to this point is just rumor. Nothing more. And the Clemson fan base has been accustomed to those type of rumors over the past several years.
If the worst does happen and the Tigers lose one, or even both coordinators, it won’t be the first time for Swinney. And you can best bet, he has a plan.
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