Dabo Swinney announced Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott have been named co-offensive coordinators effective immediately. Rumors broke earlier in the day about Jeff Scott's ascension to the post, but the promotion of Tony Elliott was a bit of a surprise. In the release Dabo did not mention who would be in charge of play calling duties, and it will be important to keep an eye on how that responsibility is handled. Most co-coordinator positions fail because responsibility is not properly delegated to one person or the other.
Tony Elliott has been at Clemson as a coach since 2011 as the running backs coach. Before that he spent 2 years at SC State and 3 years at Furman as the wide receivers coach. In both positions Elliott was focused primarily on recruiting which is something he's received good reviews for. As a coach under Morris he obviously spent time learning the theory behind game planning and play calling, but we will see how it works with him having say over it. I do like the fact that Elliott has some experience at other schools and by all accounts has done well.
Jeff Scott, like Tony Elliott, is a Clemson grad but spent 1 year coaching at Presbyterian College before coming to Clemson in 2008. He became the WR coach when Dabo ascended to the top job and has done fairly well even though he had plenty of talent to back him up. It is unclear how great of a WR coach he is, but that isn't why he's stayed on staff. Scott has also served as the recruiting coordinator since 2009 and has been responsible for Clemson's overall recruiting efforts.
Honestly I'm not sure if I like this more than just promoting Scott or hate it more, probably the latter. It is one thing to promote an unproven guy to be Clemson's OC, but there is a chance it could be successful. I don't know of many co-cordinator experiments that actually work. Sometimes it happens when one guy is very experienced and the other needs seasoning, but that is it. You also need a clear separation of responsibility, something we haven't heard about yet. I'm not very optimistic about this situation working out.
As I mentioned before, I also don't like the apparent lack of outside interviews. It seems inexcusable to me that Dabo would immediately hire from within rather than taking 2-3 days to at least talk with some other candidates. Clemson's OC position is one of the most attractive in the nation and it is hard to think many candidates would say no to an interview.
Overall I'm not impressed. Yes, this could turn out very well, but there is just too much risk to say Dabo has made the right decision with this hire. Deshaun Watson may make a fool out of me, but it is hard to be anything but skeptical when you promote two position coaches with no experience play calling to co-offensive coordinators. Hopefully it doesn't mean Dabo is calling the plays now.
Going forward we will also need a QB coach. Neither coach has experience coaching the position and with 1 spot still available on staff it would be nice bring in someone who can specialize in developing Watson and the other QBs. We will also have to see if the new coach becomes the recruiting coordinator or if someone else gets the title. The rumor was Elliott would get the title with Scott's promotion, but that seems unlikely now.