Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney pulled no punches in quickly landing one of the most sought-after playcallers in college football when he grabbed Garrett Riley away from TCU.
Three years as an offensive coordinator prior to his arrival at Clemson at SMU (2020-21) and TCU (2022), all three Riley offenses finished in the top 15 nationally in scoring offense. His units as the coordinator at SMU and TCU from 2020-22 combined would rank third in the nation in points per game in that span at 38.6 points per game, trailing only Ohio State (44.0) and Alabama (43.0) in that stretch.
Riley is considered one of the top offensive minds in the game right now, especially after getting TCU in his first season there as OC into the College Football Playoff and to the national championship game. And that fact was confirmed further, as PFF named Riley the top OC in college football.
1. GARRETT RILEY, CLEMSON TIGERS
The younger brother of USC head coach Lincoln Riley, Garrett is proving that offensive brilliance runs in the Riley genes.
In his two years as SMU offensive coordinator in 2020 and 2021, he led the Mustangs to two consecutive top-25 finishes in expected points added (EPA) per play. This past season — his first as TCU’s offensive coordinator — he won the Broyles Award for the top assistant coach in college football after elevating a Horned Frogs squad that ranked 41st in the country in EPA per play in 2021 to a 15th-place finish in 2022. His quarterback, Max Duggan, was ultimately named as the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, the best finish for a TCU player since 1955.
According to the Athletic’s Grace Raynor, Clemson just inked Riley to a three-year deal worth $1.75 million a year, making him one of the highest-paid coordinators in the country. He’ll try to fix the Tigers offense that finished just 47th in EPA per play in 2022.