ACC: Charlie Harbison
From Clemson's release:
Harbison had been at Clemson under coach Dabo Swinney since the 2008 Gator Bowl against Nebraska. Over the past four years he helped the Tigers to 36 victories and three ACC Atlantic Division championships. He also worked at Clemson as defensive secondary coach under Tommy West from 1995-97. He coached nine-time NFL Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins in his first year (1995).
“I want to thank Charlie Harbison for a great job the last four years,” Swinney said in a prepared statement. “He has helped us immensely in all phases. He has been a tireless recruiter and coach who has represented this program with class. He is one of the most respected coaches in the business and we wish him well.”
Harbison coached Clemson’s defensive backs at practice on Saturday, Clemson’s first practice as it prepares for the Chick-fil-A Bowl game against LSU on December 31. He decided Saturday night to move to Auburn. Harbison has worked previously with new Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.
“Charlie needs just a short period of time to be vested from a retirement standpoint in the state of Alabama and we understand it is a move that makes sense for he and his family,” said Swinney.
Swinney announced Sunday that Wesley Goodwin, who had worked in defensive research development, would move on the field to coach the secondary in the interim period. Graduate assistant Brian Mance will also continue to work with the secondary.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has taken it upon himself -- basically out of his own pocket -- to give his assistants raises.
There is a clause in Swinney's contract stating that if he won the ACC, he would rise to a certain level from a salary standpoint among ACC coaches. When he won the 2011 title, that meant this year's contract would increase by $422,000. He is taking $265,000 of that to give to his coaches. Technically, it's an allocation -- not money he has already received. It is money he would have received -- and that is the key difference between what Swinney is doing and what Georgia coach Mark Richt did.
Regardless, it's a true investment in his program -- one I've never heard of or seen elsewhere in the college coaching ranks -- and odds are it will pay off. It is proof of the literal value of coaching stability.
Swinney's decision stems from today's announcement that the Compensation Committee of the Clemson Board of Trustees approved a proposal from athletic director Terry Don Phillips to grant salary increases totaling $450,000 for seven assistant football coaches, and the head strength coach. It will be in effect for two years, and 60 percent of that money is coming from Swinney. The remaining 40 percent, or $185,000 will be provided by the athletic department.
According to the school's release, Swinney is expected to make $1.9 million in 2012, which will rank 46th nationally according to the most recent data available to Phillips. The staff, including the head coach, is expected to rank between 12th and 15th.
“Coach Swinney has opted to invest in the stability of the program with money he earned in 2011,” Phillips said in a prepared statement. “We have a young football team returning for 2012 and 2013 and he felt it was imperative to have stability from a staff standpoint. These are all options that had been in his existing contract.”
“I am extremely grateful to the Board of Trustees for its approval of these salary increases,” Swinney said in the release. “We have a great staff and I want to do everything I can to keep it together at a critical time in our program. We have a young, but talented team and I feel we have a chance to do something very special in the near future.”
Earlier, it was announced that offensive coordinator Chad Morris would earn $1.3 million and defensive coordinator Brent Venables would earn $800,000 during the 2012 season, meaning Clemson’s nine full-time assistant coaches will earn $4.2 million.
Here is the official run-down of the remaining staff salaries recently approved by the Board of Trustees:
Joey Batson (strength coach) $200,000
Dan Brooks $310,000
Robbie Caldwell $310,000
Tony Elliott $205,000
Charlie Harbison $375,000
Marion Hobby $375,000
Danny Pearman $310,000
Jeff Scott $215,000
- The respect Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and defensive line coach Andy McCollum have for each other goes way back. This hire sounds like a great fit for the Jackets.
- Before Virginia coach Mike London can start rebuilding at Virginia, he had to start building from the ground up, beginning with his new staff.
- Maryland will partner with Texas to escape the NCAA's new recruiting rule for head-coaches-in-waiting.
- Clemson defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison isn't going to Florida after all. But wait, what's that? Reports that Florida hired Teryl Austin are wrong?
- If Harbison is staying put, and Austin is the leading candidate for the job, then odds are Miami's Michael Barrow isn't going anywhere, either. The Palm Beach Post is reporting that Barrow will be back coaching the linebackers in 2010. This will free up John Lovett to be the CEO of the defense.
- NC State has added an aggressive defensive coach in Jon Tenuta.
- Florida is interested in hiring Clemson defensive backs coach/co-defensive coordinator Charlie Harbison, according to the Post and Courier.
- It's not easy to analyze Georgia Tech's recruiting class, but any recruit who can pull off an action shot like the one B.J. Bostic is in is probably going to be fun to watch.
- Miami has reduced some ticket prices in Sun Life Stadium, and for the third straight year, there will be no increase in prices.
- FSU coach Jimbo Fisher's timing was perfect in missing a new NCAA rule that keeps head-coaches-in-waiting off the recruiting trail.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney today announced staff assignments, the most newsworthy being the official promotion of Billy Napier to offensive coordinator. Considering Napier and Swinney called plays together for the final seven games of the season, this shouldn't come as a shock.
It is, however, a big deal for Napier, who isn't even 30 yet (he'll reach that mark in July). Considering he and I are the same age, I'll be the last person to second-guess him because of it. His experience, though, is another matter.
Napier just finished his third season as a full-time assistant coach. He was previously the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, the latter being a position he'll continue to hold through the end of this recruiting cycle. Now he's tasked with helping an offense that was at the root of this program's problems this season, despite its numerous playmakers.
How much better was the tandem of Swinney and Napier than former offensive coordinator Rob Spence and coach Tommy Bowden? Not much, and don't forget they had a healthy offensive line to work with.
Despite the tandem of James Davis and C.J. Spiller, Clemson had just 4 yards rushing in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl against Nebraska and was held to under 100 yards rushing in four other games under the direction of Swinney and Napier. Clemson averaged 85.8 rushing yards during the coaching change and 102 under the previous regime (and that's NOT including cupcake wins over South Carolina State and The Citadel).
Napier and Swinney did average more points -- 23.8 to Spence's 15 -- and had a slightly higher average in passing yards and total offense. The difference, though, was hardly glaring. Of course, they were in a transition phase, but if Clemson is going to rebound, the offense and play calling still needs a makeover, and it looks like Napier is going to give it one.
"We will have some changes next year," Swinney said in a release. "We will basically be a spread-formation team. What will be different next year is that we will use the quarterback more in the running game. Billy is one of the fine young coaches in the nation. He will be a head coach some day."
Swinney made a small but smart move in regards to the offensive line. Brad Scott will continue to serve as associate head coach and he will coach the offensive guards and centers, but Danny Pearman, who joined the staff at the end of the regular season from Maryland, will coach the offensive tackles and tight ends and serve as assistant head coach. Pearman is a former Clemson tight end.
This should help devote more attention to what was an obvious weakness.
Outside linebackers coach Ron West's name is nowhere to be found on the final list of assignments, so he will either find a new job or move into an administrative position. The trendy thing to do these days is name a co-coordinator, and Swinney did that on defense with Kevin Steele and Charlie Harbison.
Here is the final list:
Billy Napier -- Offensive Coordinator, quarterbacks
Danny Pearman -- Assistant head coach, tackles, tight ends
Andre Powell -- Running backs, Special teams coordinator
Brad Scott -- Associate Head Coach, Offensive guards and centers
Jeff Scott -- Wide Receivers
David Blackwell -- Defensive tackles
Charlie Harbison -- Co-Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Backs
Chris Rumph -- Defensive Ends
Kevin Steele -- Defensive Coordinator, inside linebackers
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Clemson hired former Mississippi State assistant Woody McCorvey as an administrative assistant and Charlie Harbison as defensive backs coach, according to a source within the program. This should be it for hires before the Tigers' bowl game, but coach Dabo Swinney is likely to hire a defensive coordinator to replace Vic Koenning after the bowl game.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Former Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning had one question for his new head coach on Monday, and it was a fair one: "Am I your guy?"
Dabo Swinney couldn't answer it.
"He said I can't promise you anything past the bowl game," Koenning said.
It wasn't like that with everyone on staff. Swinney is moving quickly in building his staff.
He has already hired Maryland assistant Danny Pearman, and Koenning said Swinney is looking at Mississippi State assistants Charlie Harbison and Woody McCorvey, both whom have Alabama ties like Swinney.
Maryland athletics director Debbie Yow confirmed Pearman's move, as he is a former Clemson grad and coach of Swinney. Pearman played tight end at Clemson and coached at Alabama from 1990-97. He spent one season at Maryland, where he coached the tight ends and H-backs, and was the special teams coordinator.
Koenning said he didn't think it was fair to have his future remain uncertain, but there is no animosity, and that he was the one who "pushed the issue."
"They were being very noncommittal with our future, and we had already been through seven weeks of that," Koenning said. "With what we'd done on defense here, not just this year, but four years in a row, the best they've had over a span in the school's history by a lot. ... Over a four-year period there might be one or two defenses that have been better. For them not to be able to commit ... I just didn't think it was fair.
"In the same regard, every coach has the privilege and the right to bring in his own guys, and coach Swinney wouldn't commit that I was his guy and that's all within his right and I'm for him on that and in agreement on that. I'm the one that pushed the issue."
Koenning will put his house up for sale and move on, but didn't say where he expects his next coaching stop to be. His resume will help him surface fast. He will miss his secondary, though.
"I love my players," he said. "I truly believe we've got one of the best secondaries in the country. The proof was in the pudding. We went nine weeks in a row and didn't give up 200 yards passing. ... I just believe in those guys and think they've done a great job. Anybody they bring in, my guys are trained well and know what to do. Because of the break here this would be a better time than to wait for the Christmas holiday."