Swinney and Spurrier before last year's game. (Joshua S. Kelly / USATODAY)
Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney Head Coach View Full Profile discussed the retirement of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier during his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
"I had a chance to talk with him this morning and I’m really appreciative of the opportunity to visit with him," Swinney said. "It’s ironic that the birth of my head coaching career is the day he will retire. I guess we are kind of forever linked in that regard. He is great for college football and I have a lot of respect for him and what he’s done for the game of college football. Coach Spurrier and I have been competing against each other since 1989 when I was a player. I remember vividly when he came to Florida because he was different and he brought a different philosophy to the game and changed a lot of things in college football. All of those years he was at Florida I was at Alabama. I actually sacked his punter in the first SEC Championship Game, and I think he threw his visor.
"And then went on as a coach at Alabama and recruiting against him, and then obviously coming here to Clemson and competing against him since he's been at South Carolina. One thing I will say about Coach Spurrier is that he's been consistent throughout his career and he is who he is. He's always been himself. And he's a winner. You look at what he did at Duke and bringing an ACC Championship to Duke at that time in Duke's history. And South Carolina - South Carolina has been around a long, long time and he took that program to a level they've never seen before. You have to give him a lot of credit for that. And then what he did at Florida with the SEC Championships and the National Championship and the players that they had down there and developed. He's one of the best to ever walk the sideline. Every once in a while he might say something crazy, and then I would go back but we really have a mutual respect for one another. Once or twice a year we have functions where we are there together and we would eat together and sit down and have dinner together. He and his wife Jerri - I think the world of her. I wish them nothing but the best. I would bet it won't be our last time to hear from Coach Spurrier. I am sure he will be relevant in the world of college football for years to come."