Clemson will have a new offensive coordinator in 2023.
The team announced Thursday it had parted ways with offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter after he was the team’s primary play-caller for just one season. Streeter became the team’s offensive coordinator after his predecessor, Tony Elliott, was hired to be the head coach at Virginia.
Clemson’s offense infamously struggled at times in 2022 as the Tigers failed to make the College Football Playoff for a second straight season and finished the season at 11-3. QB D.J. Uiagalelei took a step forward after a rough 2021 season but still had an inconsistent year. Uiagalelei averaged less than 7 yards an attempt and completed just under 62% of his passes.
“As the leader of this program, I am accountable for our staff and accountable for our results, and though we took a step forward offensively in 2022, after evaluating our offense in-depth, I felt it was in the best interest of our program to seek new leadership at that position," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement. "These decisions are never easy, but it is my job to evaluate and assess every part of our program every year, and this was just the right time to make a change."
“I look forward to bringing in a dynamic, proven leader at offensive coordinator with the specific purpose of meeting — and raising — the standard of excellence that has been established at Clemson. I passionately believe in our staff and in the young men in our program and am excited about the opportunity to see them grow even more in 2023."
Friday, Clemson announced that TCU's Garrett Riley would be Streeter's replacement. TCU made it to the national title game on the strength of an offense that was capable of a big play at nearly any point during the regular season.
“Garrett has an incredible track record," Swinney said in Friday's statement. "His body of work — including this past season when his ninth-ranked scoring offense helped TCU transform from a five-win team into a 13-win national championship game finalist in their coaching staff’s first season — speaks for itself."
Clemson scored just 14 points in its first loss of the season at Notre Dame in November and the passing game was miserable in the 31-30 loss to South Carolina that knocked the Tigers out of playoff contention for good. Uiagalelei was just 8-of-29 passing for 99 yards in that game.
Uiagalelei was benched during the ACC title game and freshman QB Cade Klubnik took over as the Tigers rolled North Carolina. Uiagalelei announced shortly after the game that he would transfer and Klubnik started the Orange Bowl loss to Tennessee.
The play-calling in the 31-14 loss to the Volunteers put a ton on Klubnik’s shoulders. He threw 54 passes and also rushed the ball 20 times. Star running back Will Shipley had just 17 carries.
If and when Riley becomes Clemson's offensive coordinator, he will be the first outside hire at offensive coordinator in Swinney's tenure since Chad Morris. Before becoming the team's sole offensive coordinator, Elliott shared the role with former South Florida coach Jeff Scott from 2015-19.
Before he was Clemson's offensive coordinator in 2022, Streeter was the passing game coordinator for two seasons after serving as the recruiting coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2014. Overall, he spent 15 seasons at Clemson.
Riley, the younger brother of USC coach Lincoln Riley, spent one season at TCU under coach Sonny Dykes. He was with Dykes for two seasons at SMU in 2020 and 2021. His hire will be an offensive philosophy shift for the Tigers as they look to get back into the stratosphere Georgia currently occupies. The Clemson defense has remained stout over the past two seasons, but the Tigers have been out of the CFP picture because of the offense. We’ll see if that changes quickly with a new play-caller and a full season of Klubnik at QB.