Clemson AD Pleased with Garrett Riley’s Transition

Clemson athletic director Graham Neff was pleased with how Dabo Swinney handled his recent change at offensive coordinator.

Swinney announced on Jan. 12 that he and longtime assistant coach Brandon Streeter were parting ways. The next day, former TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley was officially named as Streeter’s replacement to run the offense and coach the quarterbacks.

It was a very quick transition, as Swinney detailed in Riley’s introductory press conference this past Wednesday.

“It was not until after the national championship game where the Garrett Riley opportunity became real,” Neff said to All Clemson and two other media outlets this past Friday at the Madren Center in Clemson. “We were very sensitive and very tight for that dialog. I know Coach and Garrett were really pleased with how it came out because it was a quick transition with Brandon Streeter and then a quick turnaround to approve the hire.”

The way in which Clemson approved and then announced Riley’s hire “was very much by design.”

Prior to and after the Orange Bowl, Swinney began discussions with Neff on how they could improve the football program – staffing, facility updates, NIL and more. As Swinney outlined in Riley’s press conference, he was not happy with the way the offense performed against Tennessee in the Orange Bowl and he knew something needed to change, but he was still going back-and-forth on whether that meant making a change at offensive coordinator.

“He just shared where he was at and some of the things he was thinking,” Neff said. “‘Hey, if we can get this done with Garrett Riley, then Holy Cow we want to do that.’ Listen, I know the change for an offensive coordinator is a transactional personnel change. I know the notion of that change from Coach is emblematic on a lot of different things, as far as what his expectations are for the program… No one has higher expectations for the program than him.”

Neff said he is excited for Swinney and the football program, and he can’t wait to see how Riley helps the Tigers meet the program’s expectations.

“It was his decision, no question,” Neff said. “But the execution of it, sort of speak, not only on Clemson’s behalf and what my role will have to be in that with Coach and the football program, and then with Garrett and TCU. It is so easy for those conversations to get out and get out of sequence, and that causes issues, confusion and stops things.

“This one just really lined up so well on all things. It was such a quick turn, and it was well received internally, locally, and nationally, in some regard, which isn’t why you do it, but I think that was certainly the retrospect on it.”

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