Clayton Carlin
Clayton  Carlin

Defensive Coordinator

Alma Mater:
Juniata, 1987


Football Continues Spring Drills

Coastal Carolina's spring game is Saturday, April 12 at 1:30 p.m.


Coastal Football Has First Real Practice

The weather cooperated Saturday and the team was able to practice outside as a team


Weekly Coastal Football Press Conference (Furman Game)

Chants travel to Furman Sept. 8 for a 5 pm kickoff


Dontavais Johnson Gets Numerous Honors; Chanticleer Call-In is Tonight

Chanticleer Call-In is from 6-7 at Buffalo Wild Wings


Coastal Football Releases 2 Deep; Welcomes Fans/Ladies Night Saturday

Fan Photo Day (4:30-6 pm) and Ladies Night is Aug. 25 (5:30 registration and cocktail social)

Clayton Carlin enters his fourth season at Coastal Carolina, serving as the Chanticleers’ defensive coordinator – working with the defensive backs.

In his first season, Coastal showed marked improvement going from six interceptions in 2011 to 14 in 2012. Notably, LaDarius Hawthorne spurred a win over Liberty with a 66-yard interception return for a touchdown and Johnnie Houston’s 68-yard interception return for a score at Bethune-Cookman in a CCU playoff win. Also, Dontavais Johnson was named first team All-Big South, while linebacker Quinn Backus was named third team All-American and Big South Defensive Player of the Year. Joining Backus and Johnson on the first team were defensive linemen Quinton Davis and Johnny Hartsfield while linebacker Mike McClure was tabbed second team All-Big South.

In year two at Coastal, Backus repeated as Big South Defensive Player of the Year and once again earned All-American honors while being a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in FCS. McClure also repeated as a second team All-Big South pick while Calvin Hollenhorst, Denzel Rice and Richie Sampson earned second team all-league honors. Rice and Sampson ranked 1-2 in the Big South in pass breakups with Rice tying a CCU single-season record with 12. All told, the CCU defense shattered the school record with 62 PBU, adding 13 interceptions. Coastal’s defense ranked 45th in the FCS in red zone defense thanks to six missed field goals – including three blocks, four turnovers on downs, four interceptions.

With the bulk of the Chanticleers returning for Carlin’s third season, Coastal defense took made huge strides. It helped that Backus finished fourth in the Buck Buchanan Award voting, was named the FCS ADA “top collegiate linebacker,” was once again a consensus All-American and was tabbed Big South Defensive Player of the Year for a Big South record third time. Overall, the Chanticleer defense ranked 13th in scoring defense — up from 81st the previous year — and 26th pass efficiency defense — up from 71st the previous year — while moving up 55 spots in third down conversion defense. Coastal held south Carolina State, Florida A&M and Elon to just three points each, becoming the first Big South program to hold an opponent to three points or less in three consecutive games. Thanks to All-Big South defensive ends Roderick Holder and Calvin Hollenhorst, Coastal had a school-record 29.0 sacks and 33 quarterback hurries while tying a CCU mark with 77 passes defended, getting a school-record 64 pass breakups. Safety Pernell Williams was named first team All-Big South and Rice was voted to the second team as he and Kamron Summers each logged 10 PBU in 2014.

Carlin came to Coastal after two seasons at Bucknell, where he was the Bison defensive coordinator. In 2010, he coached the linebackers. For the 2011, Carlin was promoted to assistant head coach, shifting his focus to the secondary.

In his second year at Bucknell, the Bison defense ranked third in the NCAA in rush defense, allowing just 78.27 rushing yards per game, while leading the Patriot League and ranking 12th in total defense. Bucknell additionally ranked 15th nationally in scoring defense. His 2011 defense featured consensus All-American defensive back Bryce Robertson, who led the nation (FCS and FBS) with 13 interceptions. Thanks to Robertson, Bucknell led the nation in turnover margin, getting 22 interceptions and recovering 17 fumbles.

Carlin returned to Pennsylvania after a number of stops at both the FCS and FBS levels. For the six years prior to joining the Bucknell staff, he was an assistant coach at Ivy League institution Cornell. During that span he served two stints at defensive coordinator, covering four seasons. In his first year (2004) the Big Red finished seventh nationally in rush defense and 13th nationally in scoring defense (18.1 ppg). After a two-year tenure as the team’s offensive coordinator, Carlin returned to the defensive side of the ball and was once again responsible for defensive play calling and game planning.

For his last five years at Cornell, Carlin served as assistant head coach in addition to his coordinator duties. He also mentored the cornerbacks, safeties and wide receivers throughout his tenure.

While Carlin was Cornell’s offensive coordinator, the Big Red ranked­ 10th nationally in rushing (2005), had two 1,000-yard rushers for the first time in program history and averaged better than 27 points per game (2005), the best at Cornell in more than 50 years. Prior to Cornell, Carlin spent one year as the special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator and safeties coach at New Mexico State. It was his second stint with the Aggies, having also been wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator from 1997-99.

In between his stays at New Mexico State, Carlin spent one year as defensive backs coach at Villanova and two at Buffalo.

Carlin got his start at the Division I level as a graduate assistant at Nebraska under legendary coach Tom Osborne from 1994-96. During that span the Cornhuskers went 36-2 and won two national titles.

Following his graduation from Juniata in 1987 with a degree in communications, Carlin, who also has a master’s degree in educational administration from Nebraska, was a head coach at St. Joseph’s Prep High School in Philadelphia, Pa., for four years. His first foray into college coaching came at Delaware Valley College, where he was the defensive backs coach in 1992 and 1993.

Carlin and his wife, Kathleen, have six children: daughters Carsen (14) and Julia (12); and sons, Clayton (11), Brady (9), Cole (7) and Conner (5).



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