Dabo Swinney Taking Clemson To Unprecedented Heights
What Dabo Swinney has accomplished at Clemson is nothing short of remarkable. He has taken a program that had been mired in mediocrity for the better part of two decades and turned it into a powerhouse.
The Tigers had experienced some success before Swinney arrived on the scene, having won a national title in 1981. However, since his arrival, the program has seen the kind of success that many thought not possible.
Not only have the Tigers reclaimed their spot atop the ACC under Swinney's guidance, but the program is also now considered one of the best in the nation.
They've made five consecutive College Football Playoff appearances. When asked about the evolution of the program during his tenure, Swinney can sum it up in just one word.
"Transformative," Swinney said. "I'm not sure that's a word, but that's the way I'd say it. From where we were in 2009, my first year, to where we are now, been in five straight playoffs, and we've won two out of the last four national championships, and we've been in four national championships."
Over the past five years, Swinney's program has won on a level never before seen in the sport. That kind of success goes back to the consistency he so often speaks about.
"You know, I think we've got 69 wins in the last five years," Swinney said. "Which is the most ever in the history of college football over that span. So we've built a program of consistency, and that's really what it's about to me."
The consistency and the success do not end on the field though. Since Swinney became the head coach, the Tigers have been one of the nation's best in the classroom too.
"It's not just on the field," Swinney said. "We've been top 10 academically in nine of my 11 years and eight out of the last nine. So we've had a lot of consistency on the field and a lot of consistency off the field."
When it comes right down to it, those are the kinds of things that matter most to Swinney. To him, it's always about the entire picture, not just one snapshot, a moment in time, as he said after the Tigers loss to LSU in last season's national championship game.
"That's truly what to me matters most," Swinney said. "We'll have more opportunities. These are tough moments. But when I hang my whistle up, it won't be about these moments."
"It's not going to be about the confetti flying," Swinney said. "And winning a national championship or a very disappointing painful moment like this where you come up short. It's really more about the relationships that you have. That's the true joy, just getting a chance to just come to work every day with such great people."