Clemson had a decision to make when Terry Bowden resigned as its football coach midway through the 2008 season.

It took a flier on an unknown young coach named Dabo Swinney.

You could say things worked out pretty well.

Fourteen years, 7 conference championships and 2 national titles later, the Tigers have grown into the gold standard of the ACC and Swinney has become a rock star in the coaching profession.

His “progrum” has been elevated to such a lofty perch in the college football pecking order that he could have reached out to any of the best and brightest assistants in the country last winter when both of his trusted coordinators left for head-coaching opportunities of their own.

Instead he took a flier by promoting a pair of relative unknowns from his own staff.

Swinney elevated senior defensive assistant Wes Goodwin to fill the coordinator position left by the departure of Brent Venables to Oklahoma. and on offense, quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter was named as the replacement for Tony Elliott, who took the head-coaching job at Virginia.

Was it a gamble? Sure it was.

But if hiring Swinney and keeping him around after a 6-7 finish in his second full season was a Hail Mary, these latest moves were more along the lines of a decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 early in the first half.

There’s no guarantee how it will turn out, but Swinney likes the odds.

“Trust me,” he said in announcing the changes last December. “We’re going to be just fine. If people don’t believe in me after 13 years of what they’ve experienced at Clemson, they ain’t never gonna believe in me.”

That faith doesn’t lessen the pressure on either Swinney or his new coordinators to deliver. Because while the coming season might not represent a crossroads for the Tigers, it is an important intersection.

In addition to replacing the two most important members of their staff other than the head coach, they find themselves fighting to reestablish their dominance in the ACC after what generally was perceived as a down year in 2021.

Down is a relative term, of course. It’s a virtual certainty that every other team in the ACC would have been thrilled with those 10 wins, including a bowl, with the losses coming in close games to the eventual national champion, the eventual conference champion and on the road in double overtime.

At Clemson, the bar is set much higher than that.

But as they say on those infomercials touting the virtues of investing in precious metals, past performance does not guarantee future results. One or two bad moves at the wrong time is all it takes to turn the mighty into the meek.

Just ask Florida State, which has been reduced to an afterthought not only nationally, but in the ACC as well, only 9 years after winning a national championship and producing a Heisman Trophy winner.

With so much at stake, especially given the volatile landscape created by the latest round of conference realignment, why would Swinney choose to put his offense and defense into such inexperienced hands without so much as interviewing anybody from the outside?

His answer is that they’ve earned it and deserve it.

“Easy decision,” he said. “I think when you don’t promote people that deserve it and have earned it, there’s a breakdown in culture.”

Of the 2, Goodman figures to be the less risky of the hires, even though he has never been so much as a position coach during his career.

His on-the-job-training will be greatly aided by a star-studded veteran defense stocked with NFL-caliber talent that includes preseason All-ACC linemen Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy, and linebacker Trenton Simpson.

But Venables was more than just a defensive coordinator. He was the heart and soul of the Tigers’ defense. And Goodman isn’t Venables.

“I’m well aware of what the headlines would be when I named Wes Goodwin to be the D coordinator at Clemson. Everybody is hitting Google like, ‘Who the heck is that?’ ” Swinney said. “Probably the best part for me was letting the defensive guys know, ‘Hey, here’s what we’re going to do,’ and their enthusiasm and their excitement because they know Wes.

“They know who he is. They know what he brings to the table. He is going to be awesome. I mean, he just has to be himself. That’s all I need him to be.”

Streeter won’t have that luxury.

He has been tasked with retooling an offense that ranked last in the ACC in efficiency last season and was clearly the team’s weak link.

If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, he also faces the prospect of a heated quarterback controversy to manage should incumbent starter DJ Uiagalelei get off to a shaky start and the calls for 5-star freshman Cade Klubnik start burning up social media.

Should that happen, Streeter’s experience in the program could turn out to be an asset because of his close relationship with both Uiagalelei and Klubnik, and the fact that he had been part of a similarly complicated situation that involved Kelly Bryant and then-future NFL No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence in 2018.

Streeter got his feet wet during Clemson’s Cheez-It Bowl win against Iowa State last December and received high marks for his play calling. But that was only 1 game. His performance will come under greater scrutiny as he begins to manage an offense over the course of an entire season.