CUTigers.com learned Sunday night during the Tigers' basketball game that Dabo Swinney had hired Jacksonville State Defensive Line Coach Todd Bates to replace Clemson DE Coach Marion Hobby, who took a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. The ties between the Clemson coaching staff and administration with the University of Alabama are well-documented, and now they are even stronger with the new hire. Bates played defensive end for the Crimson Tide from 2001 to 2004 and went on to play for the Tennessee Titans for two seasons.
Former Clemson QB Cole Stoudt spent the past two seasons as a Graduate Assistant and Quarterback Coach at Jacksonville State alongside Bates, so there was an additional connection between Bates, Dabo Swinney and the Clemson program. We will have more on the hire here at CUTigers.com as information comes in, so stay tuned!
From the Jacksonville State website:
His first two seasons at JSU have seen unprecedented success for the Gamecocks. They are 23-4 and a perfect 16-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play with two OVC titles over the past two seasons.
The 2015 campaign took Gamecock football to new heights. A 13-2 record included a 12-game win streak that was one shy of the school record and also featured over 50 school records. The Gamecocks’ lone losses were to No. 6 Auburn in overtime and to North Dakota State in the FCS title game.
JSU was ranked No. 1 in the polls for the first time in school history and held that ranking for 11 weeks. The Gamecocks went unbeaten again in the OVC to win their second-straight title and was warded the No. 1 national seed in the FCS Playoffs. JSU stood up to that seeding, downing No. 7 Chattanooga in overtime in the second round before routing No. 8 Charleston Southern and No. 7 Sam Houston State in the quarters and semis, respectively.
Bates coached a defensive front that wreaked havoc on opposing offenses, leading the OVC and ranking 12th nationally in total defense with just 300.3 yards allowed per game. JSU led the nation in tackles for a loss after recording a school-record 136 stops in the backfield, an average of 9.0 per game that ranked fourth in FCS. Devaunte Sigler was an All-OVC pick and signed a free agent deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the conclusion of the season.
His first season was an impressive one on the defensive front, where Devaunte Sigler became the first Gamecock to claim Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors since JSU joined the league in 2003. Sigler was also an All-American up front in guiding a pass rush that amassed 27 sacks.
The JSU defense made great strides in 2014, finishing second in the OVC in total defense and pass defense, while leading the league and ranking 23rd in the nation in rushing defense at just 127.7 yards per game. That stingy defense helped JSU post a 10-2 record, including a perfect 8-0 OVC record and the school’s fourth OVC title.
The former University of Alabama standout joined the Gamecocks after spending the 2013 season at East Central Community College coaching the defensive line. The Gamecocks signed offensive lineman Kyron Samuels (Fairhope) off that Warrior football team for the 2014 season.
Bates played for the Crimson Tide from 2001-2004 and graduated in 2005 with a degree in Business Management. While playing for the Crimson Tide, Bates was the only true freshman to play for the Tide in 2001. He was also selected SEC Defensive Player of the Week twice, and named permanent team captain for the 2004 season. He also authored the “The Bama Way” poem and book for the Crimson Tide.
After college, Bates played for the Tennessee Titans as a defensive end from 2005 through the 2006 season.
Bates began his coaching career at Talladega High School in 2007. The following year, he coached at Oxford High School under current JSU head coach John Grass, where he was an assistant football coach for the Yellow Jackets, as well as the head strength and conditioning coach. He spent the next two years at Idaho State coaching the defensive line.
Bates also is the founder of Todd Bates Enterprises LLC, and the annual Todd Bates Football Skills Camp (www.toddbates.org), which is held in his hometown of Heflin, Alabama, each summer. He is married to his college sweetheart La’Tesa, and the couple has one daughter, Angel Maylene, and a son, Josiah.