I doubt Greg McGarity approves of this message.
Turnipseed spent his previous 11 years in Tuscaloosa, serving as Nick Saban’s director of external affairs. His old teammate and mentor from the early 90s plucked him away in May 2013.
“Thad Turnipseed has done a fantastic job helping us build what my vision for our program was as far as taking our recruiting to another level,” Swinney said. “We were a little behind, I thought, as far as our efficiency.”
This is the best way Swinney describes Turnipseed’s role: he wakes up every day and thinks about recruiting. That’s something a multitasking coach can’t say.
“Thad Turnipseed’s been an awesome addition,” said Jeff Scott, who was Clemson’s recruiting coordinator from 2009-14 before his promotion to co-offensive coordinator. “We’re light years ahead of where we were before he got here.”
There was one student volunteering her time to recruiting when Turnipseed arrived at Clemson.
A year and a half later, as many as 40 students at one time can be assisting Turnipseed or Scott, or new recruiting coordinator Brandon Streeter, or Scott’s father Brad, who handles player development, or director of high school relations Mike Dooley, or director of new media Jonathan Gantt. Turnipseed also has two full-time assistants and two graduate assistants.
Clemson University owns and operates one prop plane commonly used on recruiting trips. The athletic department employs three full-time pilots: James Allison, Dan Arblaster and Jason Williams.
Wretched excess? In today’s world of football recruiting, it’s not even keeping up with the Joneses.
But it’s all relative. Staffs like Clemson’s still lag behind SEC powers like Alabama and Auburn.
“We’re definitely a lot smaller still. But we’re exactly what we need,” Turnipseed said.