The Clemson Tigers bolstered their on-field coaching staff with two experienced, proven coaches, Matt Luke and Chris Rumph.
Matt Luke will be the new offensive line coach and brings loads of experience with 19 years as an offensive line coach and 17 doing so in the ACC or SEC with Ole Miss, Tennessee, Duke, and Georgia. He was the offensive line coach and co-OC at Ole Miss in 2014 and 2015 when they beat Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide in consecutive seasons. After Hugh Freeze’s scandal at Ole Miss, Matt Luke was named the Head Coach of Ole Miss. He was unable to overcome the weight of sanctions, but gained three years of experience leading a program in the SEC.
His most recent stop was at Georgia where Kirby Smart trusted him to recruit at an elite level and continue the success they had with Sam Pittman (who left to become the Head Coach at Arkansas). Coach Luke’s offensive line road graded their way to a ground-and-pound National Championship in 2021.
He stepped away from coaching for the 2022 and 2023 seasons to spend more time with his family. With Clemson’s focus on family and making time for being a good father in the face of the growing demands of being a college coach, it seems like the perfect place for him to get back into the profession. You can learn more about him as a father and his decision to step away for a time here:
Chris Rumph was named the new Defensive Ends coach at Clemson. He was previously the Defensive Ends Coach at Clemson from 2006 to 2010. During that time, the defensive end position was arguably the strength of team with Gaines Adams and Da’Quon Bowers wreaking havoc in the ACC. Interestingly, Da’Quon Bowers is on staff in a defensive player development role and will likely work with Coach Rumph a great deal.
After the tumultuous 2010 season when Clemson went 6-7 despite a strong defense, Coach Rumph went to Alabama where he was Defensive Line Coach. They won two National Championships in his three seasons with some of the best defenses in college football.
After that, Coach Rumph spend six more years in college football at Texas, Florida, and Tennessee. In addition to coaching the entire D-line, he served as a co-OC at Florida and Tennessee. After that he went to the NFL where he bounced around from the Houston Texans, to the Chicago Bears, to the Minnesota Vikings. He is currently on a leave of absence for personal reasons.
Throughout his career journey, Coach Swinney has reached before to bring him back on staff, but it never worked out until now. With his immense success in the college ranks and experience in the NFL, expect an uptick in recruiting and development.
I have been pretty critical of Coach Swinney’s decisions over the past three seasons, but I have no such criticisms of these moves. These are home run hires that will elevate Clemson and turn weaknesses into strengths. I have not been this optimistic about Clemson football in years. Be sure to check out my analysis video with former Shakin the Southland writer Jason Priester (now with AllClemsonTigers.com) for more.