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Clemson Hires Dan Brooks as Defensive Line Coach

Clemson Hires Dan Brooks as Defensive Line Coach

March 30, 2009

Clemson, SC – Dan Brooks, who most recently served as defensive line coach at the University of Tennessee for the last 15 years, has been named defensive line coach at Clemson University, head coach David Blackwell, who was named defensive coordinator at South Florida earlier this month.

Brooks is a veteran of 34 years in coaching, including 27 at the college ranks, 26 at the Football Bowl Championship level. In those 26 years at the FBC level he has coached 17 bowl games and been a part of 17 seasons that have finished in the top 25 of at least one poll. That includes the 1998 season when he was the defensive line coach on the Tennessee staff that posted a perfect 13-0 record, including six wins over Top 25 teams, and won the National Championship.

“Dan Brooks is one of the top defensive line coaches in the nation and we are thrilled that he has joined our staff,” said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “He came highly recommended from coaches and administrators who are with us now. He is one of the big reasons the University of Tennessee has been among the top defenses in the nation for many years. Many of his players have gone on to outstanding professional careers and he has been considered one of the top recruiters in the country.

“With Dan’s addition, we now have four assistant coaches who have been part of staffs that have won the National Championship. I am very pleased with the way our staff has come together.”

In his 15 years at Tennessee, the Volunteers ranked in the top 25 in the nation in scoring defense 10 years, in rushing defense 10 seasons and in total defense eight years. That includes last year when the Volunteers were third in the nation in total defense, 10th in scoring defense and 12th in rushing defense. Between 1997 and 2001, Tennessee ranked in the top eight in the nation in rushing defense every year and his defensive linemen had a lot to do with that success. Each of the top four team season sack totals were achieved during his time at Tennessee, including the 2000 season when the team had an even 50.

Tennessee went to 13 bowl games in his 15 years and had eight seasons of at least 10 wins. The Volunteers were 138-50 in that time for a .734 winning percentage. In terms of top 25 seasons, Tennessee had 12 in his 15 years, including six top 10 finishes and nine in the top 15. The Volunteers had five straight top 10 seasons between 1995-1999 and won at least nine games each season. Tennessee won the SEC championship in 1997 and 1998 and reached the SEC Championship game in 2001, 2004 and 2007. Tennessee won 34 games against top 25 teams in his 15 years.

Brooks tutored eight players who were selected in the NFL draft, including first-round draft choices Shaun Ellis (2000), John Henderson (2002), Albert Haynesworth (2002) and Justin Harrell (2007). Haynesworth recently signed a $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins. Eleven of his players were named All-SEC.

In addition to serving as defensive line coach at Tennessee from 1994-08, Brooks was the recruiting coordinator for the program from 1999-2002.

Between 1988-93, Brooks was the defensive line coach at the University of North Carolina under Mack Brown. The Tar Heel program made a significant improvement in that time, as it reached the final top 20 in both 1992 and 1993. The 1993 team won 10 regular season games and played Alabama in the Gator Bowl. A number-seven national ranking in rushing defense had a lot to do with that success.

From 1983-87, Brooks was a defensive line coach at the University of Florida. He was a graduate assistant in 1983 and became a full time coach in 1984. The Gators had three top 10 finishes in at least one poll during that time period, including the 1984 season when the squad was 9-1-1 and finished third in the final AP poll.

Between 1976-82, Brooks was a high school coach in Kings Mountain, NC. Among the players he coached was former Clemson All-ACC running back Kevin Mack, who went on to a Pro Bowl career with the Cleveland Browns.

Brooks got his start in coaching at Western Carolina in 1976, his alma mater as a student assistant coach. He played for the Catamounts in 1973 and 1974 after starting his college career at Appalachian State. He earned an undergraduate degree from Western Carolina in 1976 and a Masters degree from the University of Florida in 1984.

Born June 25, 1951, Brooks and his wife Kathy have two children, Tara and Rhett.

Dan Brooks Career College Assistant Coaching Record
Year School Job Title Record Bowl
1975 Western Carolina Student Coach 3-7
1983 Florida Graduate Assistant 9-2-1 Gator


Florida Defensive Line 9-1-1
1985 Florida Defensive Line 9-1-1
1986 Florida Defensive Line 6-5
1987 Florida Defensive Line 6-6 Aloha
1988 North Carolina Defensive Line 1-10
1989 North Carolina Defensive Line 1-10
1990 North Carolina Defensive Line 6-4-1
1991 North Carolina Defensive Line 7-4
1992 North Carolina Defensive Line 9-3 Peach
1993 North Carolina Defensive Line 10-3 Outback
1994 Tennessee Defensive Line 8-4 Gator
1995 Tennessee Defensive Line 11-1 Florida Citrus
1996 Tennessee Defensive Line 10-2 Florida Citrus
1997 Tennessee Defensive Line 11-2 Orange
1998 Tennessee Defensive Line 13-0 Fiesta
1999 Tennessee Defensive Line-Recruiting Coord. 9-3 Fiesta
2000 Tennessee Defensive Line-Recruiting Coord. 8-4 Cotton
2001 Tennessee Defensive Line-Recruiting Coord. 11-2 Florida Citrus
2002 Tennessee Defensive Line-Recruiting Coord. 8-5 Peach
2003 Tennessee Defensive Line 10-3 Peach
2004 Tennessee Defensive Line 10-3 Cotton
2005 Tennessee Defensive Line 5-6
2006 Tennessee Defensive Line 9-4 Outback
2007 Tennessee Defensive Line 10-4 Outback
2008 Tennessee Defensive Line 5-7

Years as a Full-Time College Coach: 25Winning Seasons: 20Bowl Seasons: 16Record of Teams as Assistant: 202-97-4