by - Radio Host -


My phone blows up every year at this time. I get texts, emails, and tweets of panic. Oh no! Say it ain’t so! Please tell me a Clemson assistant isn’t leaving. Gasp!

Years ago one of my best friends in the world left Clemson’s staff, and I thought the place wouldn’t be the same. Rick Stockstill was the best Clemson assistant I had ever been around and who was this Dabo Swinney cat that was taking his place?

I would say it worked out pretty good.

When you are on top people want you to fall, so they look for every way to find a crack. Anything that may signal the end of success is made into the big issue.

At Clemson, we were told by opposers that Dabo Swinney was a real estate guy. We were told he was a cheerleader. We were told he knows nothing about Xs and Os. Today he leads one of the two best programs in the country.

We were told Chad Morris was a high school coach. His offenses averaged 33, 41, 40 and 31 points per game.

Then we were told that when Morris left, so did the offense. When Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott were named co-coordinators, we were told co-coordinators don’t work and both of those guys were too inexperienced. The Tigers have averaged 38, 39, and 35 points per game. Under their leadership, Clemson is 41-3 with three playoff appearances, two national title games, and the school’s second national championship.

But it’s about Jimmys and Joes, so we were told once Nuk Hopkins left the Clemson offense would drop off. Then they told us it would be Sammy Watkins’ departure. Then Mike Williams and Artavis Scott.

Tajh Boyd graduated, and doom and gloom were set to move into town. Didn’t happen. This year we were told Deshaun Watson was a once in a generation quarterback and the program was only as successful as his talents enable us to be.

We were told Kelly Bryant is a wide receiver or a safety. Now he is a Manning Award finalists.

Remember the doom they sold us about the defensive line when Marion Hobby left for the NFL and Dan Brooks retired. Surely there would be a drop off under an inexperienced coach like Todd Bates who came from lil ole Jacksonville State. Again, didn’t happen.

Recruiting would surely take a drop off with those two coaches leaving according to our opponents. Xavier Thomas says hello.

Brent Venables is the best assistant I have ever seen. He is the best coordinator I have ever been around. And yes, there will be a time where he decides to move on. However, my guess is Dabo Swinney has a good plan and a big budget to get whoever he sees most fit to replace him.

The point is this program is built on a solid foundation. They have perhaps the best facilities in America. They enjoy one of the best home-field advantages in the country. They have a brand and an identity. There is a culture in place here. The developmental aspect of this program is perhaps the best in the country. The recruiting office is as thorough as anyone could ask for.

But the reason Clemson has been and will continue to be one of the top programs in America is Dabo Swinney. It is his vision, his leadership and his drive that runs this program.

Sorry opposers. He is here for the foreseeable future. Try again.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

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