Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role


by - Staff Writer -
One of Bowden's last games as Clemson head coach in 2008, with Swinney in the background encouraging the team.
One of Bowden's last games as Clemson head coach in 2008, with Swinney in the background encouraging the team.

Tommy Bowden received a critical email shortly after his hire of a then 34-year-old Dabo Swinney, Bowden recalled recently on the Sports Spectrum podcast.

After the 2002 season, the former Clemson head football coach Bowden was in need of a wide receivers coach and he received a resume from a blast from the past in his days as an assistant with Alabama, in the former Crimson Tide receiver Swinney.

The problem was that Swinney had been out of coaching three years while pursuing a real estate career, after being let go by Alabama football.

"When I hired Dabo, I actually got some emails. 'Why'd you go hire a guy who was out of coaching?' I'm here at Clemson and can hire anybody in the country to coach wide receivers," Bowden paraphrased from the email. "Why'd I go after a guy who wasn't even coaching. I can't find that guy now. Whoever wrote that email, he's hidden."

Bowden of course stuck with that hire and Swinney eventually took over as an interim head coach in 2008, with the rest being a trophy-filled history in Clemson.

"I remember after he had won the first national championship game, I called him and said, 'Listen, if I had known you were going to be this good -- I would have let you be the head coach while I was there and I'd still be there,'" Bowden said.

Bowden said Swinney's hire as a receivers coach was a tough call among some good candidates, but it was seeing Swinney at a church event in Alabama years before the hire that pushed him over the top.

"I remember one thing that stood out and it just goes to show you how God works in a guy's life. Dabo is a godly man," Bowden said. "Dabo is a very strong, godly man. It's foundational in his DNA. But when I was at Tulane, I went to First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa (Alabama) and they asked me to speak...After 15-20 minutes after the service, there is a guy standing over with his wife waiting to talk to me. Dabo Swinney and his wife Kathleen had come to hear me talk, and when I got ready to hire somebody, that stood out in the back of my mind.

"Two candidates I interviewed were both highly qualified and really good coaches, and the thing that put him over was the fact -- and I didn't hire all Christians on my staff -- that kind of put him over the hump is he came to hear me speak and that counted for something," Bowden added with a laugh.

Bowden recalled again that he recommended Swinney to move into that interim role when the 2008 season went sideways and he departed midseason.

"He was an excellent coach and an excellent recruiter. When I left, I recommended him -- even though I had some former head coaches on the staff...But I told the AD (Terry Don Phillips) that this young man Dabo, I think he has all the intangibles," Bowden said. "I think Terry Don did not only a great job appointing him...but made the tough decision to make him the full-time coach afterward.

"As faith would go, Dabo has had a tough life with his family structure, but him showing up on that Sunday morning -- him and his wife -- little did he know that I know -- that God would send him there and it would be a difference and he has surely done a great job."

Comment on this story
Print   
Send Feedback to Brandon Rink: Email | Comment
Tigers down Pittsburgh in ACC opener
Tigers down Pittsburgh in ACC opener
Clemson offers elite St. John Bosco (Ca.) lineman
Clemson offers elite St. John Bosco (Ca.) lineman
Clemson men’s basketball ACC schedule released
Clemson men’s basketball ACC schedule released
Raiders reportedly lodge complaint about hits on Hunter Renfrow, Ravens DB apologized
Raiders reportedly lodge complaint about hits on Hunter Renfrow, Ravens DB apologized
Post your comments!
Subject (Replies: 22) Author
spacer TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
TigerNet News
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
Ralph_Sharpton
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
big monk
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
TexasTiger80
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
Gridfan
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
chipbiii
spacer One of the more illuminating TNet stories
SocMan2®
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
kctigs81®
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
tugalooriver®
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
Clemgalalways®
spacer FAVORITE TOMMY BOWDEN STORY EVER***
jasonflair50
spacer Re: FAVORITE TOMMY BOWDEN STORY EVER***
tgemas
spacer Second favorite: 63-17***
tigerdrummer®
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
CUintheValley85
spacer Coach Tommy Bowden is a humble man and a wonderful
orangeman
spacer Coach Tommy Bowden is a humble man and a wonderful
orangeman
spacer Re: Coach Tommy Bowden is a humble man and a wonderful
cugrad80
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
MackDaddy®
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
MackDaddy®
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
MackDaddy®
spacer Thank you Tommy for setting Clemson up for success !***
argonaut1992®
spacer Re: TNET: Tommy Bowden recalls why he brought Dabo Swinney back into coaching role
RPMcMurphy
spacer Tommy...
MidlandsTiger87®

Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Breaking
Daily Digest