Clemson cuts ties with Billy Napier

Updated: January 2, 2011, 8:38 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier and running backs coach Andre Powell will not return to the Tigers' program next year, head coach Dabo Swinney announced Sunday.

Napier, 31, had been the youngest offensive coordinator in the Football Bowl Subdivision when he was elevated to the position last season. Clemson lost the Meineke Car Care Bowl 31-26 to South Florida on Dec. 31 to end the season 6-7 overall. The Tigers went 4-4 in the ACC and finished tied for fourth in the Atlantic Division.

"This was a difficult decision, one that was not made hastily," Swinney said. "But, we must make significant improvement on the offensive side of the ball. I have to do what I believe is best for the program going forward, and make sure we don't experience another season like the one we just had."

Napier spent five years with Clemson, starting as a tight ends coach in 2006.

"It is unfortunate that my time at Clemson has come to an end under these circumstances," Napier said. "I want to thank Coach Tommy Bowden and Coach Dabo Swinney for the opportunity they gave me to work at Clemson. I was blessed and am thankful for the interaction I had with so many great people."

Powell was hired as running backs coach in 2007 and became special teams coordinator in 2008.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.