KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Richmond coach Dave Clawson resigned
Friday to become Tennessee's offensive coordinator, a job he said
was "too good of an opportunity to pass up."
Clawson, who led the Spiders (11-3) to the Football Championship
Subdivision semifinals this season, steps up to the major college
level to work under coach Phillip Fulmer.
After four years at Richmond, Clawson said he was excited about
the prospect of moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the
challenges of coaching in the Southeastern Conference.
"This was always a goal professionally and a dream of mine,"
Clawson said. "This is not the first phone call I've had for an
opportunity like this, but this was the first one that excited me.
I really believe Tennessee is one of the premier football programs
in the country."
Clawson replaces David Cutcliffe, who left Tennessee to take
over as head coach at Duke.
Clawson is credited with re-energizing the Richmond program.
After going 3-8 in 2004, the Spiders went 9-4 and made the playoffs
the following year. This season, Richmond was beaten in the
semifinals by eventual champion Appalachian State.
Tennessee officials planned to formally introduce the new
coordinator Saturday morning. The Tennessee athletic department
would not release information on Clawson's salary until other vacancies on Tennessee's coaching staff had been filled.
Clawson said he was not seeking to leave Richmond and that
Fulmer had first contacted him Sunday after speaking with a mutual
friend. Clawson said he had told Richmond athletics director Jim Miller he would not leave the program for anything but a Football
Bowl Subdivision program.
"On a professional level, coaches are driven and I'm no
different," he said. "The challenge of coaching in the SEC at
Tennessee, I think, is a great challenge and one that was too good
of an opportunity to pass up."
Clawson, a two-time Football Championship Subdivision coach of
the year, will also coach quarterbacks, as Cutcliffe did for the
Vols. He also spent five years coaching Fordham and was the
offensive coordinator at Lehigh and Villanova, where he worked with
Tennessee's new running backs coach Stan Drayton.
"His multiple offensive system using the talents of the players
available to their fullest has been impressive," Fulmer said. "He
has a great passion for recruiting, which is important for
Tennessee, and his experience as a head coach will serve us well."
Fulmer had also considered former Michigan offensive coordinator
Mike DeBord, former San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Frank
Cignetti and Clemson offensive coordinator Rob Spence.
Kurt Roper, who coached running backs at Tennessee, and Matt
Luke, who coached tight ends, followed Cutcliffe to Duke. Roper was
named offensive coordinator and Luke offensive line coach.
On Wednesday, Fulmer announced Drayton, who was working as a
Florida's running backs coach, would take over the same position at
Tennessee. The wide receivers coaching position vacated by Trooper
Taylor, now co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, is still
Clawson is a native of Youngstown, N.Y., and was a defensive
back and played basketball for Williams College in Massachusetts
before working as an assistant coach at Buffalo and Albany.