The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Clemson football hires new defensive line coach

The post-National Championship period has officially begun for the Clemson Tigers, which means spring practices, recruiting and coaching changes. 

Not head coaches, but assistant coaches. The NFL is always looking for up-and-coming NCAA coaches to fill any needs that they might have. The Jacksonville Jaguars did just that by signing former defensive line coach Marion Bobby away from the Tigers. 

Head Coach Dabo Swinney noticed new defensive line coach Todd Bates at a football summer camp. 

“I remember one of the camp days Coach Brooks came to me and said, ‘Todd Bates is the best coach we have out here,'” Swinney said. “I have been following his career closely.”

Coach Bates started his collegiate career as the only starting freshman on a loaded Alabama defensive line in 2001. He was named team captain in 2004 and was drafted in 2005 by the Tennessee Titans. 

In 2007, Bates turned his attention to coaching the defensive line, starting at Talladega High School. In 2013, he joined East Central Community College and in 2014 joined the Jacksonville State team. 

In his three-year tenure at Jacksonville State, the Gamecocks were 33-6 and wreaked havoc on defense starting with the defensive line. 

In 2015, Bates’ coaching helped the Gamecock defense to a No. 12 overall defensive ranking, holding opposing offenses to 300.3 yards on average and recording 136 tackles for loss, which ranked number one in the FCS. 

That defense led Jacksonville State to its first No. 1 ranking in team history and got them to the finals that year; a loss against North Dakota State. 

The Gamecocks’ only other loss came against No. 6 ranked Auburn in overtime, which speaks to the level that Bates and the rest of the coaching staff adhered to.

Clemson’s 2016 defensive line was one of the best in school history. It anchored a defense that won a national championship and has produced multiple NFL contributors, including Vic Beasley the 2016 sack leader. 

Although that group is losing senior Carlos Watkins, Bates’ coaching experience and ability to get the most out of his players could make Clemson the most feared defense in the next few seasons. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *