Tampa, Fla. – Dabo Swinney was born in Birmingham and played three seasons for Gene Stallings at Alabama. In three season at Alabama Swinney had seven catches for 81-yards and was a member of the 1992 National Championship team.
When he graduated from Alabama, he became a graduate assistant for the Alabama. Later, he became the tight ends and wide receivers coach under Mike Dubose. At the end of the 2000 season, Coach Dabo Swinney and the rest of Mike Dubose’s staff were fired. Swinney sat out the 2001 season while receiving his contractual payments from Alabama. His former strength coach at Alabama, Rich Wingo, had become president of AIG Baker Real Estate and offered him a job. From April 2001 through February 2003, worked for AIG Baker Real Estate on development projects.
In 2003, Tommy Bowden, who was head coach of Clemson and Swinney’s former position coach at Alabama, gave him a call and offered him a job. In 2003, Swinney became the receivers coach for Clemson. After five years as an assistant coach, Swinney was named the interim head football coach on October 13, 2008, after Coach Tommy Bowden resigned six games into the 2008 season. After 2009 and 2010, where Swinney’s teams went 9-5 and 6-7 respectively, Clemson began a streak of 10+ win seasons.
In 2015, the success of Clemson football with Swinney at the helm put them in the College Football Playoff National Championship where they faced another successful program, Coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. In that game, Clemson fell short 45-40. In 2016, Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney and his Clemson Tigers had a chance at redemption. With Deshaun Watson under center and a solid defensive effort, the Clemson Tigers defeated Alabama by a score of 35-31. While the term used for Alabama football has been “The Process”, it’s clear that there is a process with Coach Dabo Swinney and Clemson football as well. That process has now taken them to the top of the proverbial “mountain” of college football.
As for Coach Saban and the Crimson Tide, the future continues to look bright with a solid recruiting class. Two powerful traditions were on display tonight in Tampa, Florida, and Clemson took home the trophy. When interviewed by WNSP Radio, Coach Gene Stallings said of Swinney, “I could see his potential. I didn’t realize he would be this good at such an early age, but I knew he was going to be a good football coach and I was right.” Coach Stallings went on to say, “His players believe in him, his coaches believe in him, he’s knowledgeable, he handles his team extremely well. If you watch the game he’s involved. I just think he’s done a great job coaching.” Losing is hard, but for many Bama fans, when they look at who they didn’t lose to this past season and seasons before, losing to one of our own in the College Football Playoff National Championship game makes it more palatable. One day, Swinney’s success might just lead him back home to Alabama.