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John Grass - Football - Clemson University Athletics

John Grass

Position: Special Assistant to the Offense

A veteran with more than three decades of college and high school coaching experience, John Grass is in his second full season as special assistant to the offense at Clemson in 2023.

Grass joined Clemson in an off-field capacity in advance of the team’s 2021 Cheez-It Bowl victory. He came to the Tigers following a nine-year head coaching stint at his alma mater, Jacksonville State, the final eight seasons of which he served as the Gamecocks’ head coach. In his final campaign, his Gamecocks recorded one of the biggest upsets of the 2021 season, earning a dramatic 20-17 win at Florida State.

Grass joined Jacksonville State in 2013 as Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator under Head Coach Bill Clark before being tabbed for the head coaching job following Clark’s departure for UAB prior to the 2014 season. Grass led JSU to a 72-26 record from 2014-21, winning six Ohio Valley Conference titles and being named the conference’s Coach of the Year in each of his first three campaigns. Grass earned AFCA National Coach of the Year in 2015 after leading the Gamecocks to an FBS national championship game berth.

Prior to joining the college coaching ranks, Grass spent 22 years as an accomplished high school assistant coach and head coach in the state of Alabama. After assistant coaching stops at Ashville High School (1990-92) and Eufaula High School (1993-94), he became Ashville’s head coach from 1995-99. After two years as offensive coordinator at Hoover from 2000-01, he would go on to be head coach at Alabama’s Albertville (2002), Moody (2003-05), Spain Park (2006-07) and Oxford (2008-12) high schools, posting a high school head coaching career record of 123-60.

Grass earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Jacksonville State in 1990. He added a master’s of physical education from Jacksonville State in 1997 and a specialist degree in administration from Lincoln Memorial University in 2010. He is married to the former Jada Arnold, and the couple has a daughter, Jules, and two sons, Jud and Jace.