NC State football is the only ACC program that will return its entire staff in 2022

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If staff continuity is any indication, N.C. State is really due for a breakout season in 2022.

Not just because of the #RunItBack crew of players who decided to return for 2022, but because the Wolfpack retained its head coach and both coordinators. That’s no small feat when football fans look around the ACC.

Head coach Dave Doeren is entering his 10th season in Raleigh. In a year with very high expectations it helps that Doeren has both offensive coordinator Tim Beck and defensive coordinator Tony Gibson returning. In fact, there’s been zero staff turnover to date for N.C. State.

No other ACC program can say that. Of the 14 programs in the league, only the Wolfpack returns its head coach and coordinators.

Having Beck and Gibson back to call plays will be a major key for N.C. State. Beck, who also coaches quarterbacks, is entering his third season in Raleigh. Last season was his first full season working with quarterback Devin Leary. All Leary did was pass for 3,433 yards and 35 touchdowns, breaking the single-season school record. Leary and three of his top five receivers all return for another year under Beck.

N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren talks with defensive coordinator Tony Gibson during the second half of Miami’s 31-30 victory over N.C. State at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.
N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren talks with defensive coordinator Tony Gibson during the second half of Miami’s 31-30 victory over N.C. State at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.

Gibson really has some tools returning from a special bunch that includes three first-team All-ACC players (linebacker Drake Thomas, defensive lineman Cory Durden and safety Tanner Ingle). Entering his fourth year at N.C. State, he’ll have 10 starters back and 12 of the top 14 tacklers from 2021.

Coaching and roster turnover in college football is nothing new, but the Wolfpack has stability heading into 2022. That’s not the case all across the league.

Here’s a look at some of the new faces Doeren, Beck and Gibson will see in 2022.

UNC

The motto a few years ago was “Mack Is Back.”

There’s nothing quite as catchy to rhyme with Chizik or Warren, but they are back too. Gene Chizik and Charlton Warren return to Chapel Hill ahead of the 2022 season, replacing Jay Bateman (defensive coordinator) and Jovan DeWitt (outside linebackers), respectively.

UNC’s defense was a huge disappointment a year ago, so Brown parted ways with Bateman and DeWitt. Like his own return, Brown brought in a blast from the past.

North Carolina defensive coordinator Gene Chizik works with his players during practice on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at Navy Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. Chizik said the Tar Heels’ run defense needs to improve as they prepare for their next game against Illinois.
North Carolina defensive coordinator Gene Chizik works with his players during practice on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at Navy Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. Chizik said the Tar Heels’ run defense needs to improve as they prepare for their next game against Illinois.

Chizik and Warren both served on Larry Fedora’s UNC staff during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Warren served as Indiana’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach last season. Chizik, who led Auburn’s 2010 team to a national championship as its head coach, is one of six active coaches to have won a national title. He worked with Brown at Texas as defensive coordinator in 2005-06.

DUKE

Almost all the faces are new at Duke after David Cutcliffe and the school parted ways.

Enter head coach Mike Elko, the former defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. Elko was the Aggies’ defensive coordinator when Texas A&M defeated N.C. State, 52-13, in the Gator Bowl. He was also the defensive coordinator at Wake Forest for three seasons (2014-16) so there is some familiarity there.

New Duke football coach Mike Elko acknowledges the crowd as he is introduced during Duke basketball game against S.C. State at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
New Duke football coach Mike Elko acknowledges the crowd as he is introduced during Duke basketball game against S.C. State at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, December 14, 2021.

Elko brought in Kevin Johns to lead the offense and coach the quarterbacks, and Robb Smith to be the new defensive coordinator. Johns was previously at Memphis, while Smith spent last season at Rutgers.

WAKE FOREST

Dave Clawson is entering year nine in Winston-Salem and has turned the Demon Deacons into a force to be reckoned with in the ACC.

Wake Forest finished 11-3 a year ago, won the Atlantic and advanced to the ACC title game. The Demon Deacons had a record-breaking offense in 2021, and quarterback Sam Hartman and offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero return.

Ruggiero has been the OC since 2014. Last season Wake Forest scored 35 points or more in 12 games. Its 574 total points rank seventh in ACC history for points scored in a single season. Clawson will replace defensive coordinator Lyle Hemphill, who will serve on Elko’s staff at Duke. Brad Lambert will be the new defensive coordinator, coming to Winston-Salem from Purdue.

Last season the Boilermakers forced 17 turnovers under Lambert.

CLEMSON

Dabo Swinney is entering year 15 in Death Valley. Stability in the staff, especially among the coordinators, has been critical during the Tigers’ recent ACC dominance.

But there has been some shuffling up top for Clemson. Longtime offensive coordinator Tony Elliott left to become the head coach at Virginia. Former defensive coordinator Brent Venables is now the head coach at Oklahoma. Swinney decided to promote from within.

Clemson recruiting coordinator Brandon Streeter speaks on the recruiting class on National Signing Day2/1/17
Clemson recruiting coordinator Brandon Streeter speaks on the recruiting class on National Signing Day2/1/17

Brandon Streeter will call the offense as well as continue to coach the quarterbacks. Goodwin, who was a defensive analyst from 2012-14 and a senior defensive assistant from 2018-21, will lead the defense.

Other new ACC head coaches, OCs and DCs

FLORIDA STATE

HEAD COACH

OC

DC

2021

Mike Norvell

Kenny Dillingham

Adam Fuller

2022

Retained

Alex Atkins

Retained

MIAMI

HEAD COACH

OC

DC

2021

Manny Diaz

Rhet Lashlee

Blake Baker

2022

Mario Cristobal

Bryan McClendon

TBD

GEORGIA TECH

HEAD COACH

OC

DC

2021

Geoff Collins

Dave Patenaude

Andrew Thacker

2022

Retained

Chip Long

Retained

LOUISVILLE

HEAD COACH

OC

DC

2021

Scott Satterfield

Scott Satterfield

Bryan Brown

2022

Retained

Lance Taylor

Bryan Brown

VIRGINIA

HEAD COACH

OC

DC

2021

Bronco Mendenhall

Robert Anae

Nick Howell

2022

Tony Elliott

Des Kitchings

John Rudzinski

VIRGINIA TECH

HEAD COACH

OC

DC

2021

Justin Fuente

Brad Cornelsen

Justin Hamilton

2022

Brent Pry

Tyler Brown

Chris Marve

SYRACUSE

HEAD COACH

OC

DC

2021

Dino Babers

Sterlin Gilbert

Tony White

2022

Retained

Robert Anae

Retained

BOSTON COLLEGE

HEAD COACH

OC

DC

2021

Jeff Hafley

Frank Cignetti Jr.

Tem Lukabu

2022

Retained

TBD

Retained

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