Swinney hires Maryland assistant, Koenning moving on

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Former Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning had one question for his new head coach on Monday, and it was a fair one: "Am I your guy?"

Dabo Swinney couldn't answer it.

"He said I can't promise you anything past the bowl game," Koenning said.

It wasn't like that with everyone on staff. Swinney is moving quickly in building his staff.

He has already hired Maryland assistant Danny Pearman, and Koenning said Swinney is looking at Mississippi State assistants Charlie Harbison and Woody McCorvey, both whom have Alabama ties like Swinney.

Maryland athletics director Debbie Yow confirmed Pearman's move, as he is a former Clemson grad and coach of Swinney. Pearman played tight end at Clemson and coached at Alabama from 1990-97. He spent one season at Maryland, where he coached the tight ends and H-backs, and was the special teams coordinator.

Koenning said he didn't think it was fair to have his future remain uncertain, but there is no animosity, and that he was the one who "pushed the issue."

"They were being very noncommittal with our future, and we had already been through seven weeks of that," Koenning said. "With what we'd done on defense here, not just this year, but four years in a row, the best they've had over a span in the school's history by a lot. ... Over a four-year period there might be one or two defenses that have been better. For them not to be able to commit ... I just didn't think it was fair.

"In the same regard, every coach has the privilege and the right to bring in his own guys, and coach Swinney wouldn't commit that I was his guy and that's all within his right and I'm for him on that and in agreement on that. I'm the one that pushed the issue."

Koenning will put his house up for sale and move on, but didn't say where he expects his next coaching stop to be. His resume will help him surface fast. He will miss his secondary, though.

"I love my players," he said. "I truly believe we've got one of the best secondaries in the country. The proof was in the pudding. We went nine weeks in a row and didn't give up 200 yards passing. ... I just believe in those guys and think they've done a great job. Anybody they bring in, my guys are trained well and know what to do. Because of the break here this would be a better time than to wait for the Christmas holiday."