Dabo Swinney (right) walks down the sideline in front of members of his staff. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Clemson Football

Thomas Austin underrated addition to Clemson’s staff

There is plenty going on at Clemson right now, and senior writer Matt Connolly is ready to answer whatever questions you might have. You can submit your question for the “Question of the Day” here. Today’s question is about Dabo Swinney’s staff. Check back daily for answers to whatever is on your mind.

Clemson already has four former players working as on-field assistants as Tony Elliott, Brandon Streeter, Tyler Grisham and C.J. Spiller all played for the Tigers before joining Dabo Swinney’s staff.

Who is the next former Clemson player to coach for the Tigers?

As far as someone moving into an on-field role, former offensive lineman Thomas Austin is my pick.

Austin joined the Tigers this offseason as an offensive analyst, leaving his job as the offensive line coach at Georgia State for a lesser role at Clemson.

Austin did a really good job at Georgia State, and with Robbie Caldwell being in his late 60s, it’s fair to assume Austin has a strong chance to replace Caldwell when that time comes.

Clemson offensive tackle Jordan McFadden spoke Monday night about how Austin is helping Clemson’s o-line this spring.

“He’s very knowledgeable. He’s an amazing person, first off. He’s a guy you can talk to about anything,” McFadden said. “I love having T.A. here. A guy that I met through recruiting. He did a great job at Georgia State and I’m just glad to have him back.”


Thomas Austin graduated from Clemson in 2009. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

As for former players not currently working at Clemson in any capacity, there are several possibilities who could return to work under Swinney.

Chansi Stuckey was hired as Baylor’s receivers coach this offseason after previously working at Clemson in an offensive player development role. If Grisham leaves for a coordinator role or is promoted at Clemson, Stuckey could get a call.

Other former Clemson players who are coaching elsewhere right now but could become candidates for assistant jobs at Clemson include: Xavier Dye (USF tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator), Da’Quan Bowers (USF defensive line coach), Xavier Brewer (ULM cornerbacks coach), Rod McDowell (ULM running backs coach), Maverick Morris (ULM offensive line coach).

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