Dave Clawson

Dave Clawson

Clawson at BB&T Field, Wake Forest University
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Wake Forest
Conference ACC
Record 12–24
Biographical details
Born (1967-08-16) August 16, 1967
Youngstown, New York
Playing career
1985–1988 Williams
Position(s) Defensive Back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1989–1990 Albany (GA)
1991 Buffalo (DB)
1992 Buffalo (QB/RB)
1993 Lehigh (RB)
1994–1995 Lehigh (OC)
1996–1998 Villanova (OC)
1999–2003 Fordham
2004–2007 Richmond
2008 Tennessee (OC)
2009–2013 Bowling Green
2014–present Wake Forest
Head coaching record
Overall 102–103
Bowls 0–2
Accomplishments and honors
1 Patriot (2002)
1 A-10 (2005)
1 CAA (2007)
1 MAC (2013)
1 MAC East Division (2013)

David Paul "Dave" Clawson (born August 16, 1967)[1][2] is an American football coach and former player. He currently serves as the head football coach at Wake Forest University. Clawson previously served as the head football coach at Fordham University from 1999 to 2003, at the University of Richmond from 2004 to 2007, and at Bowling Green State University from 2009 to 2013. Before joining Bowling Green, Clawson was the offensive coordinator for one season at the University of Tennessee.

Assistant coaching career

Clawson got his start in the coaching business as the quarterbacks and running backs coach at the University of Albany in 1989. He was an assistant at Albany again in 1990, this time coaching the defensive secondary. He later went on to coach as an assistant at the University at Buffalo, Lehigh University, and Villanova University.[1]


On January 11, 2008, it was announced that Clawson had been hired as the new offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Volunteers football team by head coach Phillip Fulmer.[3] He replaced David Cutcliffe, who moved to Duke University as head coach. Clawson's stay in Knoxville was short and disappointing. Fulmer was forced to resign as head coach with 3 games left in the 2008 season. Incoming head coach Lane Kiffin relieved Clawson of his duties on December 1, 2008. With Clawson as their offensive coordinator, Tennessee suffered its worst statistical offensive season in over 30 years.

Head coaching career


Clawson got his first head coaching position at Fordham University. His record as a head coach at Fordham was 29–29.[4]


After Fordham, Clawson became the head coach at the University of Richmond. He served as coach from the 2004 season until the end of the 2007 season, and was the 32nd football coach at the school. His career coaching record at Richmond was 29–20. This ranks him seventh at Richmond in total wins and fifth at Richmond in winning percentage.[5]

At Richmond, he was awarded Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) Coach of the Year twice. Clawson is credited with re-energizing the Richmond program. After going 3–8 in 2004, the Spiders went 9–4 to win the Atlantic 10 Conference[1] and made the playoffs the following year. In 2007, Richmond won their conference again, going 11–3 before eventually losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Appalachian State.[6]

Bowling Green

Clawson was hired on as the head football coach at Bowling Green State University on December 12, 2008, just 12 days after being let go by Tennessee. Clawson replaced Gregg Brandon, who after six seasons was let go after a disappointing 6–6 season (including a 1–4 home record) in 2008, a season in which the Falcons were a preseason favorite to win their division.[7]

Clawson's era at BGSU started off proving he would be a disciplinarian as he dismissed senior defensive lineman Michael Ream for an undisclosed violation of team rules just months into his tenure.[8] His first game as coach of Bowling Green came on September 3, with a win at home against Sun Belt opponent Troy.

He coached his first bowl, the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl, on December 30 in Boise, Idaho. After scoring to make the lead 42–35 over the Vandals, the Vandals took over with 33 seconds left in the game. Idaho then connected on a long pass down inside the 20 and scored on a questionable touchdown call to make it 42–41 with 00:04 left. The Vandals went for a gutsy two-point conversion and were successful, sealing a 43–42 and ruining Clawson's first bid at a bowl game.

In January 2010, rumors began to circulate that East Carolina University was interested in Clawson for their vacant head coaching position, following former ECU coach Skip Holtz' move to South Florida. The rumors intensified following Middle Tennessee State's head coach Rick Stockstill turning down the East Carolina job. However, as of January 20, 2010, Bowling Green has stated that neither athletic director Greg Christopher or Clawson himself have been contacted by East Carolina officials.[9]

On November 7, 2012, he led the Falcons to an upset victory against division rival Ohio Bobcats 26–14. The special teams had two blocked punts and forced two bad snaps which one of them rolled into Ohio's end zone to force a safety. The Falcons took advantage of these turnovers and scored 19 points (2 Touchdowns, 1 Field Goal, and 1 Safety). With the win, BG moved into 2nd place in the MAC East Division and kept their hopes alive of winning the MAC East and better yet the entire conference.

The 2013 season was Clawson's last and most successful season at Bowling Green. His Falcons posted a 10-3 record, including an 8-1 conference record. On December 6, 2013, Clawson led his team to its first MAC Championship since 1992 with a 47-27 victory over the formerly undefeated and ranked #15 Northern Illinois Huskies in the MAC Championship Game which ruined the Huskies chances of receiving a BCS bowl bid.

Wake Forest

Clawson was named head football coach at Wake Forest University on December 10, 2013.[10]

After posting 3-9 (1-7 ACC) seasons in 2014 and 2015, Clawson’s 2016 team started the season by winning five of its first six games including road victories at Duke and Indiana. He has re-built the Deacons using a philosophy of strong recruiting classes, redshirting as many freshmen as possible, and having a strong strength and conditioning program. [11]

Offensive philosophy

Clawson describes his coaching style as one that utilizes the available talent to maximize success. His philosophy focuses on getting individual playmakers more touches rather than sticking to a rigidly-defined system.[12]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Fordham Rams (Patriot League) (1999–2003)
1999 Fordham 0–11 0–6 7th
2000 Fordham 3–8 1–5 6th
2001 Fordham 7–4 5–2 3rd
2002 Fordham 10–3 6–1 T–1st L Div I-AA Quarterfinals
2003 Fordham 9–3 4–3 T–3rd
Fordham: 29–29 16–17
Richmond Spiders (Atlantic 10 Conference) (2004–2006)
2004 Richmond 3–8 1–7 5th (South)
2005 Richmond 9–4 7–1 1st (South) L Div I-AA Quarterfinals 8
2006 Richmond 6–5 3–5 T–4th (South)
Richmond Spiders (Colonial Athletic Association) (2007)
2007 Richmond 11–3 7–1 1st (South) L FCS Semifinals 4
Richmond: 29–20 18-14
Bowling Green Falcons (Mid-American Conference) (2009–2013)
2009 Bowling Green 7–6 6–2 3rd (East) L Humanitarian
2010 Bowling Green 2–10 1–7 T–5th (East)
2011 Bowling Green 5–7 3–5 T–4th (East)
2012 Bowling Green 8–5 6–2 2nd (East) L Military
2013 Bowling Green 10–3 8–1 1st (East) Little Caesars*
Bowling Green: 32–30 24–17 *Did not coach in bowl game
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2014–present)
2014 Wake Forest 3–9 1–7 T–6th (Atlantic)
2015 Wake Forest 3–9 1–7 6th (Atlantic)
2016 Wake Forest 6–6 3–5 T–4th (Atlantic)
Wake Forest: 12–24 5–19
Total: 102–103
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.


  1. 1 2 3 Player Bio: Dave Clawson :: Football
  2. Parks, David (2008-07-23). "Dave Clawson, Jonathan Crompton Look to Form Dynamic Duo at Tennessee". Bleacher Report.
  3. "Richmond's Clawson named offensive coordinator at Tenn". USA Today. January 11, 2008. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  4. Fordham Coaching Records
  5. Richmond Coaching Records
  6. ESPN – Clawson leaves Richmond to be Vols offensive coordinator – College Football
  7. Autullo, Ryan (November 29, 2008). "Bowling Green fires Brandon". Toledo Blade. Retrieved November 29, 2008.
  8. Harner, Andrew (April 14, 2009). "Defensive lineman dismissed from football team". The BG News. Archived from the original on June 22, 2009. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  9. Chen, Howard (January 20, 2010). "Clawson to East Carolina?". Fox Toledo. Retrieved January 20, 2010.
  10. "Wake Forest hires Dave Clawson". wakeforestsports.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  11. "Dave Clawson". Wake Forest University. October 12, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  12. Clawson's basic principles fit with Fulmer : Football : GoVolsXtra.com

External links

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