No lateral move

Dozens of guys each year leave coordinator jobs to accept head coaching positions. Greater pay, greater responsibility and greater prestige are just a few of the perks.

When a guy travels that road in the opposite direction – going from a head coach to a coordinator job – it's usually because he got fired. Who would want to give up the pay, responsibility and prestige of running your own program?

Dave Clawson, apparently.

After a highly successful stint as head coach at Div. 1-AA Richmond, Clawson elected to vacate Virginia last January to accept the offensive coordinator position at Tennessee.

Obviously, Clawson believes his new gig will move him closer to becoming a Div. 1 head coach someday. In the meantime, he does not view his role at Tennessee as a demotion. He's happy to escape the distractions that go with being a head man and concentrate on the on-field duties of a coordinator. Tennessee's just-concluded spring practice enabled him to relish the interaction with players that attracted him to the profession in the first place.

"It was fun," Clawson said. "When you first get into coaching, you coach football. It's funny but as you climb the ladder – go from position coach to coordinator to head coach – a lot of the things you have to do as a head coach have very little to do with what you do as an assistant. It's really a completely different job."

Clawson discovered as much during five years as head coach at Fordham and four at Richmond. After nine years as an overseer, he is back to his roots – working to make his players the very best they can be.

"When you start coaching, you fall in love with the coaching part of it – the strategy and the relationship with the players," he noted. "After being a head coach for almost a decade, it's been fun to dive into the film room and focus on the strategy."

South Carolina head man Steve Spurrier loves coaching offense so much that he reportedly entrusts all of the defensive decision-making to his defensive coordinator. Clawson can relate.

"When you wear both hats (overseeing the offense AND the defense) you're never as detailed with either of them as you'd like to be," the Vol coordinator said.

"Now that I don't have to wear the other hat (defense), I think we've been able to be more detailed in our teaching.

"And I've enjoyed it."

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