Clawson, who started his head coaching career at Fordham in 1999, took the Rams to a 10-3 record in his fourth year in The Bronx and a berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Clawson started at Richmond in 2004 and had the Spiders at 11-3 and in the FCS semifinals in Year Four. At Bowling Green, Clawson’s fourth season produced an 8-5 record and a berth in the Military Bowl. And Year Four at Wake Forest was no less magical with the Deacons sitting at 8-5 following a thrilling 55-52 win over Texas A&M in the Belk Bowl in December. With a 37-34 Birmingham Bowl victory over Memphis capping a successful 2018 campaign, this feat marked the first time in school history that Wake Forest has won a bowl game in three consecutive seasons.
For the five seasons he has been with the Demon Deacons, Clawson has preached strong defense and patience on offense. The 2017 season brought an avalanche of offense as his group of attackers, thrown into the fire in 2014 as youngsters, matured into a tenacious group that set school records for scoring and total offense.
But two records stand out: Wake Forest had 11 players selected for 12 All-ACC positions, and as a team, the Deacons beat six bowl teams in 2017.
On December 10, 2013, Clawson became the 32nd head football coach in Wake Forest University history. As the head coach at Bowling Green State University from 2009 through 2013, Clawson led the Falcons to the 2013 Mid-American Conference championship with a 47-27 win over No. 16 Northern Illinois.
Bowling Green’s 2013 team went 10-3 overall under Clawson and won the MAC East title with a 7-1 record. The Falcons received a bid to the Little Caesar’s Bowl in Detroit. It marked the third bowl appearance in five seasons for Clawson’s team.
In his 18 years as a head coach, Clawson delivered a conference championship at each of his first three stops. Prior to the 2013 Mid-American Conference title at Bowling Green, Clawson helped Richmond to a pair of Colonial Athletic Association titles in 2005 and 2007. His first championship as a head coach came in 2002 when he led Fordham to the Patriot League title.
He has also earned numerous Coach of the Year awards. He was the Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2002 and was awarded the 2005 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year award in just his second year in the league. The 2007 CAA Coach of the Year award marked his fourth conference Coach of the Year honor in his first nine years as a head coach.
In 2002, Clawson was the Schutt Sports/American Football Monthly I-AA Coach of the Year and a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award. In 2005, Clawson earned National Coach of the Year from I-AA.org and was again a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award.
A 1989 graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts, Clawson earned a degree in political economy. A native of Youngstown, N.Y., Clawson was a defensive back for Williams and went on to serve as a graduate assistant coach at Albany in 1989 and 1990. He moved to Buffalo for the 1991 and 1992 seasons, tutoring the secondary his first year and the quarterbacks and running backs his second.
In 1993, Clawson was named the running backs coach at Lehigh and helped the Mountain Hawks to a 7-4 record and the Patriot League championship. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1994 and spent two years in that role, adding another Patriot League title in 1995. Lehigh won a pair of Patriot League titles in his three years and his offense led the league in scoring, total offense and pass offense in each of his final two seasons.
Villanova hired Clawson as offensive coordinator in 1996 and his offense helped the Wildcats to NCAA FCS appearances in 1996 and 1997. During his tenure at Villanova, Clawson’s offense established 70 program records, held the No. 1 ranking in the nation for six weeks in 1997 and won the 1997 Atlantic 10 championship.
Following the 1998 season, Clawson became the nation’s youngest Division I head coach when he was named head coach at Fordham. Inheriting a team that had won just 22 games in the previous 10 years, Clawson turned the Rams into the Patriot League champions in his fourth season. He was the Patriot League Coach of the Year in both 2001 and 2002. Clawson helped the Rams 2002 FCS Playoffs where they defeated fourth seed Northeastern in the opening round before falling to Villanova.
Clawson was named the head coach at Richmond prior to the 2004 season. He guided the Spiders to the biggest two-year turnaround in school history, improving from 3-8 in 2004 to 9-4 in 2005. In 2007, his final year with the Spiders, Clawson guided Richmond to an 11-3 record, the Colonial South title and the FCS national semifinals.
He left Richmond in 2008 to replace David Cutcliffe as the offensive coordinator under Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee. Following that season, Clawson was named the head coach at Bowling Green in time for the 2009 season.