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Clemson Football

Clemson Adds Matt Luke, Chris Rumph to Coaching Staff

December 4, 2023
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Head Coach Dabo Swinney announced today that Clemson has named Matt Luke as Offensive Line Coach and Chris Rumph as Defensive Ends Coach. Both hires were officially approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees Compensation Committee on Monday morning.

Luke, 47, brings more than 20 years of experience as an offensive line coach, co-offensive coordinator and head coach. Most recently, he served as the assistant head coach/offensive line coach at Georgia from 2020-21, helping the Bulldogs to a 22-3 record in that span and helping guide Georgia in 2021 to its first national championship in 41 years. In his two seasons, players under Luke’s tutelage accounted for three All-SEC honors and four NFL Draft selections.

“My family and I are incredibly excited about this opportunity,” Luke said. “I have always had tremendous admiration for Dabo as a man, as a coach and as a leader, and I am excited for the opportunity to help him win another national championship at Clemson.”

Prior to his time at Georgia, Luke spent eight seasons at Ole Miss from 2012-19, serving initially as the Rebels’ assistant head coach/offensive line coach from 2012-16 prior to being elevated to interim head coach in the weeks leading up to the 2017 season. After a rivalry win to conclude the 2017 regular season, Ole Miss removed the interim tag from his title, and he guided the Rebels for an additional two years through the conclusion of the 2019 season. During his tenure, Luke’s coaching helped guide tackle Laremy Tunsil to three All-SEC honors en route to Tunsil’s selection as the No. 13 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Ole Miss’ highest-selected offensive lineman in more than 60 years.

Luke began his coaching career at Ole Miss, his alma mater, in 1999 as a student assistant coach. He went on to serve as Murray State’s offensive line coach from 2000-01 before returning to Ole Miss in 2002 to oversee the offensive line and tight ends from 2002-05 under head coaches David Cutcliffe and Ed Orgeron. In 2006, Luke reunited with Cutcliffe at Tennessee, serving as the Volunteers’ offensive line and tight ends coach for two seasons. In that time, he helped the Vols to a 19-8 record and a division title while also serving as recruiting coordinator for Tennessee’s top-five recruiting class in 2007. In 2008, Luke followed Cutcliffe to Duke, where he served as the Blue Devils’ co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.

Luke played collegiately at Ole Miss as a center from 1995-98 and earned his degree in business administration in 2000. He started 33 career games for the Rebels and was voted as a team captain in 1998 in helping lead the team to a 7-5 record and an Independence Bowl victory. He was a two-time Academic All-SEC selection.

A native of Gulfport, Miss., Luke is married to his wife, Ashley, and has two sons, Harrison and Cooper.

“Matt is exactly what we needed with his hire,” Swinney said. “He brings an incredible résumé and a wealth of experience and has worked with a bunch of great coaches and players over his career. He is very familiar with our footprint in recruiting. I have no doubt he will be a great addition.”

Rumph, 51, returns to Clemson with more than 25 years of coaching experience, including the last four years at the NFL level and 17 years of Division I experience from 2003-19 with some of the biggest name brands in college football. After serving as head coach at Calhoun (S.C.) County High School from 1997-2001, as defensive backs coach at South Carolina State in 2002 and as outside linebackers coach at Memphis from 2003-05, Rumph made his Power Five coaching debut at Clemson, serving as the Tigers’ defensive line coach from 2006-10.

“For me, this is coming home,” Rumph said. “Clemson is a great fit for me and my family in terms of the town and the quality of the people. The passion of the fan base is second-to-none… Clemson is a program that has won consistently and won at the highest levels under Coach Swinney. I am excited to do my part to return the program where it aspires to be and once again have Clemson in the College Football Playoff and competing for national championships year in and year out.“

In Rumph’s first stint at Clemson, he contributed to the success of two of the most decorated defensive ends in program history. In 2006, he worked with senior defensive end Gaines Adams, who became the second unanimous All-American in program history that season before being selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. In 2010, he guided junior Da’Quan Bowers — now a member of Clemson’s support staff — as Bowers led the nation in sacks (15.5) and tackles for loss (26.0) en route to winning both the Nagurski Trophy and the Ted Hendricks Award.

Rumph spent the last four years in the NFL including the last two as defensive line coach with the Minnesota Vikings. He served in the same capacity for the Chicago Bears in 2021, helping the Bears to 49 sacks, fourth-most in the NFL. He coached outside linebackers for the Houston Texans in his NFL coaching debut in 2020.

After his first stint at Clemson, Rumph went on to serve in various capacities at Alabama, Texas, Florida and Tennessee over a nine-season span. From 2011-13, he helped Alabama produce six NFL Draft picks along his defensive line in addition to helping the Crimson Tide bring home national championships in both 2011 and 2012. In both of those national title-winning seasons, Rumph’s group contributed to Alabama leading the nation in both total defense and scoring defense.

Rumph served as Texas’ assistant head coach and defensive line coach in 2014, helping defensive tackle Malcom Brown earn consensus All-America honors. He then began a three-year run at Florida, serving first as defensive line coach from 2015-16 and adding co-defensive coordinator duties in 2017. Rumph’s guidance helped five Gator defensive linemen become NFL Draft picks across the 2016-18 NFL Drafts. He then transitioned to Tennessee, overseeing outside linebackers along with co-coordinator duties for the 2018-19 seasons.

A native of St. Matthews, S.C., Rumph played collegiately at South Carolina, where he was a four-year letterman as a linebacker from 1991-94. He earned a bachelor’s degree in retail management from South Carolina in 1994 and later returned to the university as a graduate assistant for the spring of 1997. He is married to his wife, Kila, and has two sons, Chris and Elijah. Chris is presently a linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Chris really fits what I was looking for in this hire,” Swinney said. “I wanted someone with NFL experience — and he certainly brings that — and I was looking for the right recruiting fit as someone who grew up in this state and played in this state. We’ve had a great relationship for a long time now and, honestly, he was a guy that almost came back a couple of other times over the years, but this is the right time and I’m excited to welcome him and Kila back and him continuing the great tradition we’ve had with our defensive ends.”

 

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Head Coach Dabo Swinney:

“I’m super excited to welcome Matt and Ashley Luke and Chris and Kila Rumph. 

“Though I’ve never worked with Matt, I’ve known him for a good while and have a lot of mutual friends. He is exactly what we needed with his hire. He brings an incredible résumé and a wealth of experience and has worked with a bunch of great coaches and players over his career. He is very familiar with our footprint in recruiting. I have no doubt he will be a great addition.

“Chris and I were assistants together previously and he was on my very first staff when I got the head coaching job. He left here before the 2011 season to go work for Coach [Nick] Saban at Alabama, and since then, he has really gained a ton of experience and expertise. He has worked at some of the best programs in the country and the last several years has coached in the NFL. He really fits what I was looking for in this hire. I wanted someone with NFL experience — and he certainly brings that — and I was looking for the right recruiting fit as someone who grew up in this state and played in this state. We’ve had a great relationship for a long time now and, honestly, he was a guy that almost came back a couple of other times over the years, but this is the right time and I’m excited to welcome him and Kila back and him continuing the great tradition we’ve had with our defensive ends.”

 

Offensive Line Coach Matt Luke:

“My family and I are incredibly excited about this opportunity. I have always had tremendous admiration for Dabo as a man, as a coach and as a leader, and I am excited for the opportunity to help him win another national championship at Clemson.

“I want to thank Coach Swinney, Director of Athletics Graham Neff, President Jim Clements and the Clemson Board of Trustees for believing in me and welcoming me and my family to this university and this community.

“This is something that my family and I have talked about extensively, and this was simply too good of an opportunity to pass up. I can’t wait to coach the young men in this program and hit the road in search of the next generation of players that will help us reach our goals at Clemson.”

 

Defensive Ends Coach Chris Rumph:

“I am excited about the opportunity to return to Clemson and work again with Coach Swinney and once again be a part of the Clemson community. For me, this is coming home. Clemson is a great fit for me and my family in terms of the town and the quality of the people. The passion of the fan base is second-to-none.

“When I first spoke to Dabo, the first thing he asked was about my family - my wife and children - by name. That’s not always the case. You can’t get the authenticity and realness of Coach Swinney and Clemson anywhere else, and I am grateful to Coach Swinney and all of Clemson’s administration for welcoming me back. I have so much familiarity with the program and great people like Woody McCorvey, Jeff Davis, Wes Goodwin and Nick Eason, and being embraced by people you know and love makes this such a great opportunity at this stage of my life and career.

“Clemson is a program that has won consistently and won at the highest levels under Coach Swinney. I am excited to do my part to return the program where it aspires to be and once again have Clemson in the College Football Playoff and competing for national championships year in and year out.“

 

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LUKE COACHING TIMELINE

1999: Student Assistant, Ole Miss

2000-01: Offensive Line Coach, Murray State

2002-05: Offensive Line/Tight Ends Coach, Ole Miss

2006-07: Recruiting Coordinator/Tight Ends/Offensive Line Coach, Tennessee

2008-11: Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach, Duke

2012-16: Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach, Ole Miss

2017-19: Head Coach, Ole Miss

2020-21: Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach, Georgia

2024: Offensive Line Coach, Clemson

 

RUMPH COACHING TIMELINE

1997: Graduate Assistant, South Carolina

1997-2001: Calhoun (S.C.) County HS, Head Coach

2002: Defensive Backs Coach, South Carolina State

2003-05: Outside Linebackers Coach, Memphis

2006-10: Defensive Line Coach, Clemson

2011-13: Defensive Line Coach, Alabama

2014: Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach, Texas

2015-16: Defensive Line Coach, Florida

2017: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach, Florida

2018-19: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers Coach, Tennessee

2020: Outside Linebackers Coach, Houston Texans

2021: Defensive Line Coach, Chicago Bears

2022-23: Defensive Line Coach, Minnesota Vikings

2024: Defensive Ends Coach, Clemson

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Clemson Adds Matt Luke, Chris Rumph to Coaching Staff

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