The Clemson football team’s new defensive line coach will make $250,000 annually for the next two years after his contract was approved by the Board of Trustees’ compensation committee on Monday afternoon.
Todd Bates, the defensive line coach at Jacksonville State University, confirmed Monday on Twitter that he has been hired to the same position at Clemson.
Bates will take over the responsibilities of Marion Hobby, who made $500,000 as Clemson’s defensive ends coach last year, and Dan Brooks, who made $450,000 as Clemson’s defensive tackles coach last year. Hobby left Clemson last week to become the defensive line coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Brooks retired after the national championship game.
No full-time Clemson assistant coach on this past season’s championship-winning staff made less than $375,000.
Bates played defensive end at Alabama from 2001 to 2004 before a two-year stint with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. The 35-year-old has never coached at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. Bates began his coaching career with stops at two high schools in Alabama before becoming the defensive line coach at Idaho State in 2011. He spent one year as the defensive line coach at East Central Community College in Mississippi before joining the staff at Jacksonville State.
In Bates’ three years at Jacksonville State, the Gamecocks went 33-6 and made the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs each year. The Gamecocks' defense ranked fourth in the FCS in yards allowed per game in 2016. Jacksonville State led the FCS in tackles for loss in 2015; Clemson has led the FBS in tackles for loss for four straight years.
Bates will join a staff that includes numerous coaches with Alabama connections, including head coach Dabo Swinney, who played for Alabama from 1989 to 1992 and coached for the Crimson Tide from 1993 to 2000. Clemson tight ends coach Danny Pearman and associate athletic director for football administration Woody McCorvey were both assistant coaches at Alabama when Swinney played there. Thad Turnipseed, Clemson’s assistant athletic director for football recruiting and external affairs, played with Swinney at Alabama and spent 11 years working in the Crimson Tide’s athletic department.
Clemson still has an open assistant coach position on its staff. Another assistant coaching spot could open this spring, when the NCAA is expected to approve a proposal that would allow FBS teams to have 10 full-time assistant coaches.
It is unclear what those coaches’ specific roles will be, but both hires are expected to be Alabama graduates who played with Swinney and are on Clemson’s support staff. According to multiple reports, Clemson plans to promote senior defensive assistant Mickey Conn and defensive analyst Lemanski Hall to full-time assistant coach positions.