Clemson’s Swinney excited positive changes for Tigers

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Clemson coach Dabo Swinney won’t let all the questions about changes on the Tigers ruin his excitement to get back on the field.

”This team has a great vibe to it already,” Swinney said as Clemson continued spring drills Friday.

The perpetually positive Swinney probably has more need for it these days with his team breaking in four new assistants including first-time Clemson coordinators on defense in Wes Goodwin and offense in Brandon Streeter.

Goodwin and co-coordinator Mickey Conn take over for longtime defensive icon Brent Venables, who left to become Oklahoma’s head coach.

Streeter, the team’s quarterbacks coach, steps up after play-caller Tony Elliott took over as Virginia’s head coach.

Former Clemson standout Nick Eason, a first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference pick at defensive tackle in 2002, was hired to coach that position after Todd Bates joined Venables’ staff with the Sooners.

Longtime offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell retired to an off-field position for the Tigers with former Clemson center Thomas Austin hired to succeed Caldwell.

Kyle Richardson was named to coach tight ends, something Elliott did before heading to Virginia.

”We’ve had a great, uncommon stability here so our world was shaken with Coach V and some of those guys leaving,” Clemson defensive end K.J. Henry said.

Swinney acknowledged the changes led to a few extra sessions of ”coaching the coaches” to get prepped for spring ball. The Tigers will conclude workouts with their annual Orange and White game on April 9.

All certainly seemed good as Clemson went through its second practice Friday.

Henry said it has been fun watching Goodwin step into a leadership role on a defensive group that will have questions after losing five starters among its linebackers and secondary who opened in a 20-13 win over Iowa State in the…


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