Skip to main content

Former Clemson Star C.J. Spiller Explains His Coaching Move

C.J. Spiller runs the ball for Clemson football against Virginia.

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 21: C.J. Spiller #28 of the Clemson Tigers runs with the ball during a 34-21 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers at Memorial Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

C.J. Spiller, Clemson's best player at the start of Dabo Swinney's tenure as head coach, has returned to his alma mater. After an eight-year NFL career, Spiller is now a member of the Tigers' coaching staff.

He was an intern for the program during the 2020 season. This offseason, Swinney shuffled his staff a bit.

Tony Elliott, the team's offensive coordinator, shifted his positional duties from running backs to tight ends. Spiller joins the full-time staff to take over his former position.

Spiller spoke with the media for the first time on Wednesday, after Clemson's spring practice. He said that he sees coaching as his true calling, which is why he's back at Clemson just a few years after the end of his NFL career.

"You just want to have an impact on young men's lives. You want to see them become successful," C.J. Spiller said, per 247Sports. "I think too many times, they think of the NFL. To me, it's life. How can you inspire others around you? Through my experiences throughout life, I'm able to share that knowledge. How does it benefit me to keep all of that knowledge and wisdom that I was able to experience and not share it with these guys? That's why I think it's a calling. I love seeing young men go out and be successful in life.

"When you have a guy come back 10, 15 years down the road and they tell you they appreciate the things you instilled in them outside of just football. It's not just about football here at Clemson. It's about life. One day we all know you're going to get that curtain call in football, but life is going to still go on. That's where my job comes in, that you're ready to take on life."

Spiller was an All-American, and the ACC Player of the year in 2009. He was a two-time First-Team All-ACC player, and Clemson has retired his No. 28.

He finished his NFL career with 4,935 career yards from scrimmage and 23 touchdowns. After being the No. 9 pick by the Buffalo Bills, he had stops with the New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, and Kansas City Chiefs.

It'll be fun seeing him work with some of the most talented players in the country at Clemson, and where his career takes him from there.