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Feb 02, 2022

Clemson Announces Football Staff Changes for 2022

CLEMSON, S.C. — Head Coach Dabo Swinney and Clemson Football announced today a number of staff changes including the formal promotion of former offensive analyst Thomas Austin into the role of Offensive Line Coach. The moves were finalized by the Clemson University Board of Trustees Compensation Committee on Wednesday.

“He’s been incredibly well-groomed and well-prepared,” Swinney said of Austin. “He’s going to do a fantastic job with that offensive line along with Brandon Thomas, who has come in to be our on-field graduate assistant coach.”

Austin is entering his sixth season across two tenures with the Clemson coaching staff. He was a two-time All-ACC selection on Clemson’s offensive line from 2006-09, appearing in 48 games with 39 starts, including starting each of his last 38 games. He played four years in the NFL with the Texans, Panthers and Colts from 2010-13 before spending four years on Clemson’s support staff from 2015-18, helping the Tigers to three national championship game berths and two national titles in that span.

Austin spent the 2019-20 seasons as the offensive line coach at Georgia State. In his debut season with the Panthers, his unit helped power Georgia State to 241.6 rushing yards per game, good for No. 12 in the nation. His tutelage helped three of his five starters to all-conference honors and guided a fourth to Freshman All-America status.

Last season in his off-field analyst role, Austin assisted Robbie Caldwell as Clemson navigated a number of injuries across the offensive line that resulted in the Tigers starting seven different offensive line combinations through 13 games. Despite the injuries and attrition, Clemson limited opponents to one sack or fewer in eight games in 2021 and ranked second in the ACC in fewest sacks allowed (21.0).

Austin, a 35-year-old native of Camden, S.C., is a three-time graduate of Clemson. He earned a political science degree from Clemson in 2009 and later added master’s degrees from Clemson in youth development leadership and athletic leadership in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

HIRES

*Previously served as a graduate assistant

GRADUATE ASSISTANT ADDITIONS

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FULL COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY

“Obviously we’ve had a lot of transition this year, and it’s exciting in two ways. I’m excited for those on the staff that had opportunities to go lead programs or maybe step up with some promotion opportunities, but I’m super excited about the opportunity to bring some new people in here and also promote people within our program.

“We’ve got a great staff. It’s going to be fun to start fresh with this group and attack spring practice and our offseason program. We’ve got a lot of great energy. It’s fun to be settled and have everybody in their new roles. We do have new people but also new opportunities within our staff that everyone is excited about.

“Thomas Austin has moved in as our offensive line coach. It’s something that we knew was going to happen at some point, and it was one of the main reasons I brought him back from Georgia State. He’s been incredibly well-groomed and well-prepared and he’s going to do a fantastic job with that offensive line along with Brandon Thomas, who has come in to be our on-field graduate assistant coach.”

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