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Clemson Hires Shawn Poppie

MEDIA RELEASE VIA CLEMSON ATHLETICS

CLEMSON, S.C. – Shawn Poppie has been named the eighth head women’s basketball coach at Clemson University, athletic director Graham Neff announced on Tuesday afternoon. The move was approved by the Board of Trustees Compensation Committee.

Clemson will hold a formal introduction in the near future, with details to be announced.

Poppie, the 2023-24 Southern Conference Coach of the Year, joins the Clemson family from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he compiled a 48-18 record in his two seasons with the Mocs, including a 28-win season this year en route to Chattanooga’s second-consecutive Southern Conference championship.

Poppie also spent six seasons as an assistant and associate head coach at Virginia Tech, where he helped lead the Hokies’ turnaround to a top-ten national program, and also spent time at Furman as an assistant coach.

“We are thrilled to welcome Shawn and his family to Clemson,” said Neff. “As we worked through our search process, his name kept coming up in several circles, and the on-court results speak for themselves. He’s coached and recruited at a high level, has experience in the ACC and in the upstate, and we are confident in his ability to get our program to the next level.”

“I am beyond excited to be joining the Clemson Tiger family as the next head women’s basketball coach,” said Poppie. “I am thankful to Graham Neff, Stephanie Ellison-Johnson and the Clemson University administration for making our family feel welcome. It truly has been a humbling experience getting to know why Clemson is so special – it’s the people. With the resources in place and everyone moving in synergy together, I believe we can compete in the ACC, the best women’s basketball conference in the country.” 

During his time at Chattanooga, Poppie was the architect of one of the most impressive program turnarounds in the nation. The year prior to his arrival, the Mocs won just seven games. In Poppie’s first season on the sidelines, however, Chattanooga recorded a 20-win season and won the SoCon tournament. Poppie received national recognition and received the 2023 Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award.

Poppie is one of the brightest up-and-coming head coaches in the nation and will be at the helm for the 50thseason of Clemson women’s basketball in 2024-25.

COACHING CAREER

Poppie was named the seventh head coach in Chattanooga history on March 30, 2022. In his two seasons with the Mocs, he orchestrated an unbelievable turnaround which resulted in a 22-6 record in the SoCon, and a 21-6 record at home, ultimately bringing two SoCon titles back to Chattanooga and making back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament.

He coached the 2022-23 SoCon freshman of the year, and his players received eight all-conference selections, two All-SoCon Freshman Team selections. The SoCon coaches selected Poppie as the 2023-24 coach of the year in the conference.

Prior to his time at UTC, Poppie was an assistant coach at Virginia Tech under head coach Kenny Brooks from 2016-2021. He was ultimately promoted to associate head coach for the Hokies and helped guide VT to six consecutive winning seasons. The Tigers’ new head coach oversaw the Hokie backcourt and guided Aisha Sheppard and Taylor Emery to All-ACC First Team selections. Poppie was on staff for the Hokie teams that set records for wins over ranked opponents, most conference wins, and having the first player in VT history to be named to the AP All-America Team (Elizabeth Kitley).

Before making his move to Blacksburg, Virginia, Poppie was an assistant at Furman. During his three-season stint with the Paladins, Poppie was elevated to associate head coach under Jackie Carson. He assisted in guiding Furman to a pair of postseason trips. He also spent time two season on the coaching staff at USC Upstate.

He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Limestone College where he worked as the program’s recruiting coordinator. In his time with the Saints, he recruited and signed three all-conference players and the Saints advanced to the 2012 national tournament following a 25-win season.

PLAYING CAREER

Poppie played collegiately at Limestone where he graduated in 2007 with a degree in sports management. He was a two-time All-Conference player for the Saints, and was the program’s all-time leader assists (602) and steals (168), and finished in third place in scoring (1,246). Poppie was inducted into Limestone’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

PERSONAL

He is originally from Crescent City, Illinois. He is married to his wife, Regina, and the couple has three sons, Kai, Cayden, and Cameron.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

“I’m incredibly proud of Coach Poppie and his accomplishments as a head coach. There is no doubt in my mind that he will bring that competitive spirit to Clemson and make them a force in the ACC.” – Kenny Brooks, Kentucky Women’s Basketball Head Coach

“I am thrilled for Shawn, his family, and the future of Clemson Women’s Basketball. Shawn is an amazing tactician of the game and will fit in immediately with the level of women’s basketball coaches that we have in the ACC. He contributed to the monumental success of the Virginia Tech program, reinvigorated the Chattanooga program, and will now bring those same blueprints of success to Clemson. The future is bright for the Tigers!” – Jackie Carson, ACC Senior Associate Commissioner/Women’s Basketball, Furman Women’s Basketball Head Coach (2010-2023)

“This is a phenomenal hire by Graham Neff & his team. Shawn Poppie is one of the best young head coaches in women’s hoops & now he’s a Clemson Tiger! He’s a proven winner & I can’t wait to see where he takes Clemson.” – Kelly Gramlich, ACC Network

Tyler Butler