There’s a saying that goes something like this; embrace change or be the change.
Brent Venables has done a wonderful job during his tenure at Clemson. The defense has been among the best in college football year in and out. His group carried the team for the better half of this season while the offense was still trying to find their way. To say he will be missed is an understatement.
Change is neutral, neither good or bad. It’s the perception of change that tilts it one way or the other. For instance, one way to look at Clemson’s successful, long time defensive coordinator’s departure is that of resentment. Not wanting to see him go, selfishly wanting to keep him at Clemson.
Another is to celebrate in his success and wish him well in his head coaching career and next chapter of his life. After all, he did take Clemson from the forgettable days of the Kevin Steele debacle, in which Clemson’s defense surrendered over 70 points to West Virginia, to the powerhouse defense they now enjoy. His coaching ability, recruiting prowess and leadership ability helped Clemson reach the pinnacle of college football success and bring home two national titles.
Dabo Swinney is among the best head coaches in the country. He took a mediocre team and turned it into a national powerhouse. The difference between Clemson and other programs who have tasted success can be summed up in one word: sustainability. It’s what every team and program desires but very few actually achieve. Outside of Nick Saban, no current head coach has built a better program for sustained success than Swinney. And he did it at a nontraditional blueblood program.
With that being said it should come as no surprise that teams in the sport of college football will be monitoring the success of Swinney’s coordinators. Why wouldn’t they? They want what Clemson has. And who better to lead them than a student of Swinney, one in which has soaked up that recipe for coaching success like a dry sponge does water.
Building a coaching tree is important for Swinney’s and Clemson’s long term success. Like acorns fall off a tree, grow roots and bloom, so should Swinney’s coordinators to cement his legacy in the sport. As for Clemson, they may need to seek out one of Swinney’s former proteges one day. After all, Swinney himself will move on from Clemson, when he feels the time is right.
Perhaps one of these fine men that Swinney will have helped mold into a head coach will eventually find their way back to Clemson.
Clemson and Notre Dame have released depth charts ahead of this weekend’s matchup at Death Valley.
For the second time this season, Clemson will be an underdog at home.
Despite Clemson’s astonishing loss to Miami, the Tigers will head to Raleigh next week favored over NC State.