Coaching Profile: Rick Stockstill

The 90's were a tulmutous time for Clemson, coaches seemed to come and go, the exception being one Coach Rick Stockstill. This man defines the meaning of the word "constant." His tenure under four Clemson Head Coaches makes him the only man ever to do so.

His 13-year tenure here at Clemson makes him the senior most member of the coaching staff, and there is no reason to think he won't continue to be a bright spot on the sidelines here in Tigertown.

A member of Bobby Bowden's 2nd recruiting class in Tallahassee, he was a 3 year starter for the Noles,and played in 3 bowl games. Upon graduation, he went to Bethune Cookman to be offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for 2 years before moving on to Central Florida to take on a job as assistant head coach and Wide Receiver coach. (Note: Here he recruited and coached former New England Patriot and current ATL Falcon, Shawn Jefferson). In 1989 he arrived in Clemson to be Quarterback coach. He has since been co-offensive coordinator, Wide Receivers coach, passing game coach, and recruiting coordinator in his term here. He has coached the top two Wide Receivers in reception totals in Tiger history (Tony Horne and Rod Gardner).

Having met Coach Stock a time or two in my day, it is easy to see why he is such a good recruiter. He is an easy going, tall guy, with a very mellow demeanor. He's the kind of guy mothers fall in love with while he's on his in home visits, as he seems like the kind of guy they would feel safe "Sending their babies to play ball with." Rick Stockstill may be one of the most prolific recruiters in Clemson history. Guys like Tony Horne, Rod Gardner, Kevin Youngblood, Alex Ardley, Charles Hafley, Willie Simmons, Ronnie Thomas, and Travis Zachary, are all in Clemson uniforms because he was the primary recruiter in they're areas at the time. His recent jewel was none other than Roscoe Crosby. Roscoe was easily one of the most hotly contested recruits in recent history. Not only did every school in the country covet his skills, but Major League teams offered him millions of dollars to just say no to Clemson, yet when all the smoke cleared Coach Stock won over the youngster, and Roscoe should run down The Hill come September 1. "The Sporting News" was so impressed with Stockstill's savvy, that they did a 3 piece story on it in February.

Currently Coach Stock is in charge of Wide Receivers, a crucial cog in Tommy Bowden's versatile attack. Watching the WRs practice, Coach Stockstill obviously knows his stuff. He constantly is on his WRs to run crisp routes, at the correct depths. In a timing offense, a lazy WR running his 15 yard curl route at 13 yards can upset rhythm, and stall a drive. He also makes his WRs know that they must catch the ball in their hands, not their bodies, and that they should have few wasted movements on their routes. One of the things that most impressed me was How Coach Stockstill has a rangy 6'5 Kevin Youngblood, keeping his body low to the ground, allowing him to explode out of his breaks. Ditto Derrick Hamilton.

Having Coach Stockstill on the staff is a true blessing, and it is no wonder 3 different head coaches kept him on the staff, while they cleared everyone else out. Much of the success Tiger fans have recently enjoyed can be attributed to "Stock" and we owe much of our future success to him as well.

Any comments or questions, just email me at jbford@clemson.edu Make sure to stop by cutigers.com next week for a special piece on Roscoe Crosby.

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