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Less than a week after surprisingly leaving Clemson for Oklahoma, former Tiger assistant coach Todd Bates released a message to players, coaches and fans he left behind. 

"Thank you Clemson family for 5 great seasons," Bates wrote in a message on his Twitter account. "It's been a joy for me and my family. I'd like to thank Dabo Swinney for the opportunity to coach at a place like Clemson. I am grateful & appreciative and look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come."

Bates joined former Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who became the head coach of the Sooners last month, as Oklahoma's co-defensive coordinator last Monday. The move wasn't expected by the coaching staff as Bates had just been given a new contract worth three years at $750,000 per year and a promotion to assistant head coach. 

"Clemson has been a special place to raise my family and we will miss the people that make up the culture," Bates wrote. "'ve grown so much here and I am thankful for the opportunity to grow."

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Bates is regarded as one of the top recruiters in the nation and helped the Tigers land talented players since 2017. He also coached and developed one of the best defensive lines in college football. 

"To all my players, I love you," Bates wrote. "I will miss every single one of you. You are family to me and I will cherish the moments and memories we shared. I appreciate all of the work you guys put in."

Shortly after Bates left, there appeared to be a Clemson response to a tweet from former Clemson staff member Miguel Chavis that showed maybe Bates' departure wasn't amicable. 

Meanwhile, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney quickly hired Nick Eason away from Auburn to take the same role Bates had been given with the Tigers. 

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