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Greatest Football Coaches in Clemson History: #6 Josh Cody

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The countdown continues with a little known Vanderbilt graduate who found immediate success at Clemson, but longed for home.

NCAA Football: Wofford at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

(1927-1930): Josh Cody came to Clemson from his native Tennessee after serving as an assistant football coach for his alma mater, Vanderbilt University, for four years. His only previous head coaching experience in football had come from 1920-1922 at Mercer University in Macon, GA. Despite this lack of experience, Cody performed admirably as the head man at Clemson, compiling a combined 29-11-2 (.720) record in four full seasons. His four teams proved very consistent year-to-year, with the 1927 squad accruing the worst record of the four at 5-3-1.

The 1928 and 1929 teams each went 8-3, while the 1930 team finished 8-2. Commonly and affectionately known as “big man” due to his 6-2, 220-pound stature, Cody’s most notable achievements include a perfect 4-0 record against the South Carolina Gamecocks, a perfect 3-0 record against then-Southern Conference rival Furman, and a nearly perfect record at home, going 13-0-1. His winning percentage still ranks fifth all-time among Clemson head coaches, trailing only John Heisman (.833, 1900-1903), Charley Pell (.804, 1977-1978), Danny Ford (.760, 1978-1989), and John Penton (.750, 1898).

He left after four successful seasons to go back to Vanderbilt as the assistant football coach and head basketball coach (which he also coached at Clemson). He never got to be the head coach at Vanderbilt, and eventually left there to coach at Florida and Temple.