That's when, while on The Roy Philpott Show, Swinney was asked if he anticipated having all of his assistant coaches back in 2014, including offensive coordinator Chad Morris.
"Yeah, I do, but ask me again tomorrow," Swinney said. "That's just the nature of the business. I expect everybody to be back. Chad loves it here."
It would appear that the last hurdle between Swinney and achieving no turnover on his staff is Vanderbilt. It was widely reported on Thursday morning that James Franklin had accepted the Penn State job, but Vanderbilt athletics director David Williams said otherwise that afternoon, claiming that he and Franklin had exchanged texts, and that there was no move.
It would seem that semantics have found a way into the process. The Centre Daily Times [State College, Pa.] have reported that the contract between the school and its next head coach would be approved during a special meeting on Saturday.
Assuming that Franklin does indeed go to Penn State, it seems imminent that Vanderbilt will target Morris, and probably Brent Venables, too.
"We have a lot of very, very good coaches here. That's going to continue to be the case. Every year, as the coaching window or carousel continues to come about, we're going to always have coaches that are going to be candidates for other jobs, positions," Swinney said. "That's just part of it.
"There are a lot of guys that I get calls on, but coaches aren't interested. It never gets public or things like that. That's always good, but we've got a great staff. We do everything we can to keep our staff intact."
But Swinney knows that nothing lasts forever.
"Like when you lose good players, you've got to go get other good players," he said. "When you lose a good coach, you go get another good coach. That's just how it is.
"Hopefully, we'll all be back. If not, we'll have a plan in place and get back to work."
There are, of course, proper channels to go through when a coach from one school is sought after by another.
"There is a protocol in place where they call and talk to the head coach, talk to the AD," Swinney said. "But anytime I've had a coach talk to anybody, I always hear from that coach. That's just the way we operate, so there are no surprises or anything like that.
"I've talked to several coaches that have called and inquired about our guys over the last several years, whether it be this year, last year or the year before, whether it's Chad or one of our other assistants, or whatever. That's just part of the business."
And it's a good problem to have. For the most part, it's better to have coaches that others covet than the alternative.
"It is a compliment," Swinney said. "You've got some guys that never get called on, but that doesn't mean they're not a great coach. That doesn't mean that at all.
"It's just about having the right people that fit your culture, your philosophies [and] your program. You try to keep them together as long as you can. When guys have opportunities to go to better themselves, you wish them well."
In the clear, for now
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