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I bet when you saw the title of this blog you probably were skeptical and were thinking you might not want to read a Clemson Rowing update.

I pull for Clemson Rowing but I am not equipped to talk about the rowing program at Clemson. I take notice of the team's results but don't know enough to write about them.

This blog has nothing to do with the sport of rowing. Instead it is about the idea of getting everyone rowing in the same direction.

At so many times over a 20 year period my biggest complaint against the athletic department at Clemson was the lack of full support. The synergy was lacking.

At times, Clemson's biggest opponent was itself. The board often lacked commitment to athletics and a lot the issues were fear based. A few of the presidents were not completely on board for full support.

I have said many times that winning at the highest level is extremely difficult when everyone is on the same page and rowing in the same direction. It is almost impossible when everyone is not on the same page and rowing in different directions.

Critics of Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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sometimes point out he lacked coordinator experience when he got the head coaching job at Clemson. Others sometimes criticize his energy and enthusiasm on the sidelines. Still others try to point out that his staff, especially his coordinators, are highly paid and he doesn't get credit because how highly thought of the staff is.

To me, Coach Swinney's biggest strength has been the ability to sell. He sold Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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on the idea of not becoming Tulsa's head coach and brought him to Clemson instead. Heck, I give him credit for identifying Morris to begin with. Swinney was able to sell Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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on the idea of leaving one of the most stable jobs in America to start over in a new program in a new conference in a new part of the country.

Coach Swinney sells to high school coaches. He sells to high school prospects. He sells to moms and dads of prospects. He sells to boosters. But his most important sell was to the administration at Clemson.

Swinney was able to sell his vision to Terry Don Phillps and Jim Barker. Now he sells to Jim Clement and Dan Radakovich. He also sells to the board of trustees.

Communication was an issue before Coach Swinney took this job. Some on the board didn't want to hear from the football coach but Swinney changed that. The former AD was not a people person or a great communicator but Swinney changed that relationship.

For the first time in years Clemson has everyone rowing in the same direction. They have given the football coach the best chance to be successful and Swinney is the reason for that.

Years ago when Tommy BowdenTommy Bowden
Head Coach
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was struggling in the middle of a season and on the hot seat again I had lunch in Pendleton with a senior associate athletic director at Clemson. He asked, "If you were the AD what you do? Would you fire him, give him an extension or leave his contract where it is?"

My answer was not what he was looking for. I said I would look in the mirror and ask myself one question. I would have asked if I had given this man everything he needed to be successful to the level of my expectations. I said look at your commitment and support first then ask yourself has he falling short or exceeded those expectations considering the level of support he has been given?

The real answer is that Bowden and a couple of coaches before him had not gotten full support. That is not the case today. Dabo Swinney has more support than Bowden but Swinney deserves credit for creating relationships with those who could offer help. Several members of the board communicate with Swinney. The president has a terrific relationship with the football coach now. That hasn't always happened. Swinney was brilliant when turned to the slogan of "All In."

Rowing in the same direction does guarantee success. However not rowing in the same direction almost always guarantees failure.

We have seen Swinney grow into this job but we saw who he is and his potential that first week when he was an interim and the Tigers faced Georgia Tech. He unified a divided family. Tiger Walk was introduced. The fan base rallied.

Since that first week Swinney has unified the administration and as a result Clemson has a much better chance at success on the field in football. He is a terrific football coach but I bet many didn't consider Swinney a great rowing coach.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

Prayer List

We have started a prayer list on the blog.  Here are the guidelines:

If you are offended by prayer or prayer lists then I apologize in advance.  The blog is free and the prayer list will be on the bottom of the page so you don’t have to read it.

If you would like to add someone to the list please email me at

*Please let me know when it is appropriate to take the person off of the prayer list.

Those who need our prayers include: Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
# 0, 0

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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Mark Whiten, Richard Bagnal and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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