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Dabo Swinney Remembers Bobby Bowden

Thursday, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked to share his thoughts on the legend.

News broke that former Florida State Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden was diagnosed with a terminal disease. The legendary coach spent more than 40 years as a dominant force in college football.

"The news came out [Wednesday], but we've known for about 10 days," the University of Louisiana at Monroe head coach told reporters at Sun Belt media day in New Orleans on Thursday. "We've been preparing for this. We know when you have pancreatic cancer, which is what the disease is, you're probably talking months, not years, so we know that. We just think we've got some more good days ahead, and we're going to enjoy those together."

Thursday, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked to share his thoughts on the legend.

Here are Swinney's words, uncut about Bowden:

I've known for a couple weeks, what's going on and, you know, so many great memories to him. You know, but he for me, he was the model was such a great example of, you know, not losing sight of the main thing, you know, a man of faith. A great husband, great father. He loved his community. He was loyal. He was committed. He loved his players. And I just he, he was funny. He had a grace to him. It's tough. And the model of consistency, I mean, the absolute model of consistency, but he's, he's he is a special human being. And I sat my office with him I guess. two seasons ago, 20`19 and we probably had about an hour in my office together just the two of us.

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He came in he did our chapel. We 90 years old. Just the conversation was fascinating. And you know everything from letters he's written me to, all the way back to being an interim in him calling me when all that way down to let me know, hey, the Bowdens, you have the Bowden`s full support. And then three weeks later he smashed me down there Tallahassee. 

But you know to come into my first ACC media coaches media meetings, coaches meetings in Amelia Island in May. And I'll never forget my very first media like, I mean you're talking about Jim Grove and grow and Paul Johnson and Cutcliffe and Beamer and all these guys. And here comes, here I come, Bobby Bowden walk in. I walk in and it's like, 'It's Bobby Brown'. You know, and I just fascinated sitting in the room with him. And you know, there's some people that can they really think a lot of, like, you know, I know I experienced this as a player like you like, so much respect, but then you don't get on the other side of it. You go, 'Oh, he's, that guy's a jerk. That guy's is this or that.' So sometimes people can let you down when you maybe get to know them in a different way. And I had this perception of you. And all I can say is when I got to know him, kind of behind the curtain, if you will, he was even better than what I could have imagined, as far as just his genuineness. His kindness. You know, smart man, he's hilarious to crack me up. 

I've got my notebook, I got notes, I'm ready. I'm ready. I'm ready to solve all the world's problems and be a part of this, you know, coaches fraternity to here and I'll never forget it. I go there. And he said, No, there's got his feet kicked back. He's got a USA Today. We're in his deep-depth conversations, you know, he's only done this 40 years at this point, or whatever. He's heard it all. And we're in these deep conversations, whatever the topic of the day was, and he's just, he's just flipping through the USA Today, because you got to be there. You know it every now and then he goes, 'Boys, I don't think won't do that.'

They say, you know, we're talking about ballgames. Then eventually he would take it, he just put it on his chest...like nobody would say a word he just sit there. Then just take a nap. And nobody said a word?

Nobody. Like nobody would say a word he just held there. And then you're not thinking he's listening. And they were in this conversation? I think it was your Sun Bowl. We should we add the Sun Bowl. Should we listen that he's just he's like, this, this conversation will go back when he goes, 'Well boys, ya'll gonna be doing this a lot longer than me. But ya'll want the Sun Bowl. That's a great bowl right there.'

So, I mean, he just was he was just the best. It's such a respected guy. And you know, when he says he's at peace– like he means that. And I mean, I think he told Tommy and Terry that, you know, 'Hey, y'all, I won't play a big funeral you do that, but I ain't gonna be there.' And that was his message. Like, I don't I ain't gonna be there. So he just has an unbelievable perspective. and he's just been a great example, to me and so many people. And you know, whenever that time comes, when the good Lord calls home with he'll be ready.