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Topic: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates
Replies: 51   Last Post: Apr 15, 2019 1:09 PM by: acevans®
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Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates

[30]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 2:41 PM
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On a slow Friday in the off-season, I thought it'd be interesting to look back over 10 years to the other HC Candidates after Bowden's departure and see how they fared. Obviously, TDP made the right choice but there were a LOT of Tiger fans and others dubious of the hire.

What We Got:
We're all aware of Dabo's accomplishments to date but for the record:
116-30 (.795)
5 ACC Titles
4 CFB Playoff Appearances
2 National Championships
6 Top 10 Finishes
6 NY6/BCS Bowl Games

Who We Could've Had
These were all Candidates either actually interviewed or bandied about as Candidates and what they've done since 2008:

Bud Foster
The perennial VT DC was on every HC shortlist in the 2000s but seemed to stick around VT as Beamer's heir apparent. Inexplicably, as you know, they ended up hiring Justin Fuente after Beamer retired, who kept Foster on as DC. He's lost a lot of luster in the last 10 years as the Hokies have been mired in mediocrity.
1 top 10 Defense since '08 (#10, 2013)
1 ACC Champ. (2010)
86-47 (.647)

Brent Venables
Little known (maybe) fact that Phillips actually interviewed Venables for the HC job in 2008.
His accomplishments are also familiar to Tiger fans and he likely would've been a very good hire.
2016 Broyles Award
Top 12 Defense 2013-2018.
#1 Defense in 2014

Rich Rodriguez
The former Clemson OC was a message board favorite to return to TigerTown. He was the newly-minted Michigan HC in 2008 where he was tasked with turning their slow Big-10 offense into a spread attack overnight. He was run out of Ann Arbor in 2010 and resurfaced at Arizona where he had a mediocre tenure before being fired after the 2017 season.
55-48 (.534)
No Big-10 Titles
No Pac-12 Titles
1 NY6/BCS Bowl (lost 2014 Fiesta Bowl to Boise State)
No Top 10 Finishes

Todd Graham
Graham was the HC at Tulsa in '08 and another hot up-and-coming name for all job openings. He had 2 offensive coordinators at Tulsa by the names of Gus Malzahn and Chad Morris. He left Tulsa for Pitt in 2011 where he had a bizarre falling out with the AD after 1 season over trying to interview for the Arizona St. job where he subsequently resigned to flee to. He initially looked to be building something at ASU but petered out and was fired after the '17 season.
67-48 (.583)
1 CUSA Title
0 Pac-12 Titles
0 NY6/BCS Bowls
No Top 10 Finishes

Gary Patterson
The long-time TCU HC was another guy who was mentioned in every coaching search around that time. TCU ran the Mountain West Conference at that time but joined the Big-12 during the conference expansion period. They took a dip after joining a Power-5 conference but had arguably the best team in the country in 2014 (they split the Big-12 Title with Baylor that year and got left out of the CFB Playoff in favor of OSU then absolutely boat raced a top 10 Ole Miss team in the bowl game). You may also remember a really, really good Patterson-coached TCU team coming into DV in 2009 and beating the Tigers in a close game in a rainstorm (that team finished 12-1).
94-36 (.723)
3 MW Titles
1 Big-12 Title
3 NY6/BCS Bowls
5 Top 10 Finishes

Chris Petersen
Petersen was the then-Boise St HC who was on every list for every big job opening. He was the architect of the Oklahoma upset in 2007 (one of the greatest games ever played). He was lured away by Washington in 2014 and has been very successful there, reaching the CFB Playoff in 2016 (where they were blitzed by Bama...).
104-29 (.782)
2 WAC Titles
1 Mountain West Title
2 Pac-12 Titles
4 NY6/BCS Bowls
1 CFB Playoff
4 Top 10 Finishes

Mike Leach
Leach, CFB's favorite weirdo and then-Tex Tech HC, was run out of Lubbock after running afoul of then-ESPN talking head Craig James for not giving his son special treatment. He spent a couple of years in exile before Washington State hired him. He's had a very successful tenure there, improving every season after a rough start.
57-44 (.564)
No Pac-12 Titles but finished #10 in 2018 (11-2, beat Iowa St in Alamo Bowl)

Brian Kelly
Kelly was the HC at Cincinnati in '08 and a hot HC name after leading the Bearcats to a 10-win season his first year. He was hired by ND in 2010 after back-to-back BCS Bowls. You probably think of these three things when you think of Brian Kelly: 1) Getting blasted by Bama in the 2012 National Championship, 2) getting blasted by the Tigers in the 2018 Cotton Bowl, and 3)



93-35 (.727) (All wins from 2012 and 2013 vacated but included in record)
1 Big East Title
4 NY6/BCS Bowls
1 National Championship Appearance
1 CFB Playoff
3 Top 10 Finishes

Skip Holtz
Granny Clampet, Jr. was once-upon-a-time a hot commodity and picked to be the next guy to come out of the "at-large" conferences. Mostly people were banking on his pedigree but he did win back-to-back conference titles in '08-'09. He was the ECU HC in 2008 and left for USF in 2010 where most people thought he'd thrive. He was fired after 3 seasons in Tampa and ended up at Louisiana Tech. He's turned the Bulldogs into a reliable conference contender since hired.
71-59 (.546)
3 CUSA Titles
0 NY6/BCS Bowls
0 Top 10 Finishes

Lane Kiffin
EDIT: Added by popular demand. The son of former NCST HC and long-time NFL DC Monte Kiffin, Lane was the newly-fired former HC of the Raiders in the Fall of '08. As you probably remember, he was ceremoniously hired by Tennessee in Dec '08. After a 7-6 inaugural season, he jumped ship for his "dream job" at The Real USC. He had one good season in 2011 but went quickly downhill. He was famously fired in 2013 by AD Pat Haden on the tarmac after returning on the team's plane following a 62-41 loss to an ASU team coached by fellow-Candidate Todd Graham. His 2012 USC went from Preseason #1 to unranked following a loss to Paul Johnson and GT in the Sun Bowl (A rare bowl win for PJ's triple option teams). He was thrown a life raft by Nick Saban and spent the '14-'16 seasons giving the Bama offense a much-needed 21st Century overhaul. You probably remember he left before the '16 Playoff run, being replaced by fellow disgraced former USC HC Steve Sarkisian. He was quickly hired by FAU, going 11-3 with a conference title in his first season and following that up with a disappointing 5-7 campaign this past year.
51-31 (.623)
1 CUSA Title
1 Top 10 Finish (2011)
0 NY6/BCS Bowls (Would've gone in '11 but USC was on probation)

Will Muschamp
Believe it or not, Muschamp was a golden boy DC in 2008 and was such a hot commodity as a future HC that Texas named him the Head-Coach-in-Waiting behind Mack Brown. Florida ended up luring him away in 2010 where he had an 11-win season but also presided over their worst season in over 20 years (2013, 4-8, lost to FCS Georgia Southern!). He was run off after a 6-5 2014 season. He spent a year in Auburn as DC before resurfacing... well, you know where. We all know how this would've turned out.
50-39 (.562)
1 top 10 finish (2012)
1 NY6/BCS Bowl (lost 2013 Sugar Bowl to pre-ACC Louisville)
0-3 vs. Clemson

Kelly and Petersen are the only 2 guys who even remotely had any success. Patterson has been solid but no one has lured him away from TCU and he seems to have missed his window as an attractive hire. It's interesting to see guys who were supposedly can't-miss hires like Graham and Rich Rod not even in the business anymore. I know we're all glad TDP took a huge gamble on an unknown WR Coach all those years ago!


Message was edited by: acevans®

2019 white level member

Here's a wild scenario ... what if Venables

[2]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 3:04 PM
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had gotten the job, AND asked Dabo to stay on as offensive coordinator ...

Same level of success ??

2019 white level member

Don't think so. They're so well suited for their respective

[5]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 3:07 PM
    Reply

roles right now--Dabo as the "visionary" CEO and Venables as the Xs and Os guy. If you reverse the dynamic in 2008 I don't think it works.

I have no doubt Venables will make an excellent HC some day soon but you wonder how much of that will be a product of Dabo's tutelage.

2019 white level member

Re: Don't think so. They're so well suited for their respective

[1]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 3:49 PM
    Reply

I don't know, I have always looked at Dabo and BV as a partnership of equals each leaning towards their respected strengths. I think BV is happy not to do (as much) public/media booster stuff and that fits Dabo well. So BV gets free reign doing what he likes most without the side hassle. Dabo is more than happy to have a mike in front of him...

As a partnership, I do think you could reverse it and they would be successful. In both cases, each would just do what they do now.


Would Dabo be just as content with a Steve or a Jake in front of him?***


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 12:32 AM
    Reply




I Think Brent V Stays at CU

[2]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 4:59 AM
    Reply

A lot of folks seem to think BV will take a HC job in a year or two. I really don't see it.

I don't feel like Brent likes the intense spotlight & PR junk that goes w/being the HC. Dabo - he was born for that stuff, plus being a great recruiter.

Dabo can keep Brent loaded with great talent for years - Brent can develop them and scheme the D (which it seems HE was born to do). Also, he loves CU & his work situation & is well paid. Why risk that for a few years of HC money & possibly have it fail?

At their current pace, he and Dabo could keep dominating football for 15 years+ - and be totally set for life. In Brent's case, what's wrong with staying here for 20 years or more (total) at $2-3-million annually?

Keeping on the steady course like that - BV would be happy doing what he loves and pocketing some $50-million (before taxes). If he's looking for happiness in his work, job security, championships & a very nice pile of money at the end - why risk that?

I truly believe BV is more likely to stay at CU for the long haul vs leaving.

2019 orange level member


This! I agree 100%.

[2]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 3:40 PM
    Reply

There aren’t too many head coaching jobs that pay more than the $2 million a year Brent is getting at Clemson. And as you stated, those jobs come with a ton more stress, responsibility, and risk of losing your job.

I don’t think that risk is worth it for a guy like BV who loves what he does and is paid very well to do it.

2019 white level member

Re: This! I agree 100%.


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 4:31 PM
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Don't disagree with you about BV likely staying at Clemson a while, but there are 62 FBS fooball coaches that make over $2 million per year.

https://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/

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But, NONE OF THEM (other than Lil Nicky and Dabo himself)


Posted: Apr 15, 2019 9:12 AM
    Reply

have the job security that Brent Venables has here. He is truly beloved by Clemson Nation, probably as much as Dabo.

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Listening to him and reading his persona in front of the


Posted: Apr 14, 2019 6:27 PM
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Media over the years, I’ve always gotten exactly the same impression. Unlikely he goes anywhere in the near term as long as things stay like they are now in TigerTown. This situation plays to his strengths and has minimal risk with lots of fun and reduced stress with more family time, and he doesn’t seem to have the ego or the innate desire to have a program with his name at the top.

And Roar Tigers for him staying with us for the foreseeable future


Re: Here's a wild scenario ... what if Venables

[6]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 3:21 PM
    Reply

I think about Clemson in terms of where we are right now and I don't believe any combination of coaches or any mix of the same would make us what we are today .
Nope , Dabo at HC and his current staff have aligned with the stars .

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DB23


Re: Here's a wild scenario ... what if Venables

[2]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 12:02 PM
    Reply

Honestly, no.
Brent is hands-down the best defensive coordinator in the nation, but a head coach he probably is not. His skill set is DC, not HC.

And frankly, Dabo is probably a better HC than he would have been a coordinator.

It's almost like GOD orchestrated the circumstances perfectly!


Re: Here's a wild scenario ... what if Venables


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 3:51 PM
    Reply

NO NO NO!!!

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Also remember Lane Kiffin being mentioned a lot

[1]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 3:16 PM
    Reply

which was interesting to me and some others
considering that dad Monte was NC State HC in
the early 80s and was probably very much interested
in Clemson's demise at the hands of the NCAA and the
ACC and Danny had even confronted him about this.

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Really dodged a bullet with him, huh?

[1]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 3:22 PM
    Reply

Also, we probably have him to thank to some extent for our 2016 Natty as he and Saban had a little spat right before the Playoff and he left.

2019 white level member

Re: Really dodged a bullet with him, huh?


Posted: Apr 12, 2019 9:54 PM
    Reply

Kiffin leaving the week before that game probably helped them more than hurt them . Sarkisian was an unknown to us and so we had the unenviable task of gaming for an offensive plan we hadn't gotten much , if any ... film on .
I think the loss to us in 2016 was purely their defense wearing down ( ala LSU 2012 ) and just too many plays incolving a certain #4 on the field .

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DB23


Re: Really dodged a bullet with him, huh?


Posted: Apr 12, 2019 9:55 PM
    Reply

Also think that our defense did a great job in the second half against them . Shutting down the run game until Hurts hit us on that sneak for the TD with 2 and some change left .
Serving up the heroics , though he was .


Message was edited by: Tigerdug23®


Message was edited by: Tigerdug23®


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DB23


Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates


Posted: Apr 12, 2019 4:12 PM
    Reply

We all know the writing on the walls That Venables leaves eventually. I wonder who the heir apparent is? I would love to say coach Bates but Last year was his first year coaching FBS football. He was a amazing D line coach at JSU for year, but idk if he's ready to be a coordinator. I was scared after Chad Morris left but jeff Scott and Tony Elliott were ready. If I had to guess Tony Elliott probably goes the head coaching route first and Scott takes over as the full time OC...but I have no idea how we replace Coach Venables. Idk if anyone on staff is as demanding of his players and expecting the same level of excellence.


Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates

[4]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 7:20 PM
    Reply

Not sure how you define "Venables leaves eventually" as I don't see him leaving for quite sometime. Every chance he has, he explains how happy he is here.


Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates


Posted: Apr 12, 2019 7:57 PM
    Reply

One of BV's daughter plans to play LB at Clemson too, or she hopes to.


Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 2:00 AM
    Reply

Coach Bates has coached at Clemson two seasons already, joining in January 2017. So last season was not his first coaching FBS football.


I think Venables leaving is far from written in stone***

[1]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 10:36 AM
    Reply




Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates

[1]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 3:58 PM
    Reply

I don't know what wall you have been reading, but it wasn't no where around or close to Clemson bc, BV isn't going anywhere, and I do wonder how many times he has to say those words before people start to believe him!!!

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Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates

[1]
Posted: Apr 14, 2019 11:15 PM
    Reply

How do we all know . Dude , this crowd can't agree on very much .
We sure can't agree on BV leaving .

Who is your source ?

Fake news

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Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates


Posted: Apr 15, 2019 9:15 AM
    Reply

Brent Venables him self is my source. If I can't believe what he has said on numerous occasions that he loves it at Clemson, and that he didn't have any plans of taking a Head Coaching position at any school, just who am I suppose to believe, BV, or someone speculating what they think he will do. I'm taking BV's word over anyone guessing what he may or may not do, now or any other time in the future. Until BV comes out and says that he has taken another job at another school or the NFL, I'm placing my bet on what has been saying for years now, he is the DC at Clemson University!!!

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Yeah, but what about Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden?

[4]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 6:47 PM
    Reply

Dabo turned out to be an OK hire, but just think what could have been..

2019 white level member

Re: Yeah, but what about Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden?


Posted: Apr 15, 2019 9:02 AM
    Reply

I admit it. I laughed.

2019 white level member

Patterson and Peterson are both excellent coaches!***

[1]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 7:23 PM
    Reply




Yeah I don't think a reversal would work

[1]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 8:07 PM
    Reply

I worked in a partnership where the 2 guys were basically Mr. Inside and Mr. outside. One guy got the work, one guy did they work, they never got in each other's sphere and never stepped on each other's toes. It was very, very successful for many years.


Dabo Swinney is the best college football coach.......

[1]
Posted: Apr 12, 2019 8:33 PM
    Reply

......hired by anyone since Bama got Saban. Dabo might end up being the best college football coach hired by anyone in his era, including St. Nick.

We should all always tip our hat to Terry Don Phillips for his great insight into character, drive and ambition.

Not everyone thought it was even a fair hire. Here's how Pat Forde characterized the hire:

"Clemson. The hire: Swinney, who was recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach until Tommy Bowden was whacked in midseason. The grade: D-plus.

Swinney was part and parcel of a failed season, but somehow got a promotion out of the deal. Who knew that beating Duke and Virginia could lead to such ample rewards? Clemson fans loved the fact that the Tigers closed the regular season by beating rival South Carolina. But hey, Bowden beat the Gamecocks seven times in nine tries and look where that got him."

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Re: Dabo Swinney is the best college football coach.......


Posted: Apr 12, 2019 9:09 PM
    Reply

+ 1 I will add he already is the best hire in his era. In my orange glasses he's already surpassed Nicky, Dabo does it the right way.


Re: Dabo Swinney is the best college football coach.......


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 12:15 PM
    Reply

And remember, Bowden recommend Dabo as his interim replacement.


I hate to let you in on a error of yours....

[1]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 12:12 AM
    Reply

But USF is in Tampa....https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_South_Florida


D'oh--Always get UCF and USF confused... Thanks for pointing


Posted: Apr 14, 2019 10:25 AM
    Reply

that out!

2019 white level member

Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates

[1]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 6:34 AM
    Reply

According to this, the hire was a D+

http://www.espn.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&sportCat=ncf&id=3777520


Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates

[1]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 6:47 AM
    Reply

And our friend and neighbor Paul Finebomb remarked on the day that TDP announced Dabo... " Clemson will never win with Dabo Swinney as Head Coach... He needs to be fired and Rich Rod hired"...

2019 white level member

AND so continues his great tradition of being wrong ***


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 10:18 AM
    Reply



2019 white level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpg

It worked out amazingly well for us, but everyone

[1]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 10:35 AM
    Reply

should have been dubious of the hire. It's like the one historic example of that type of hire working out. Promoting interim coaches to the full time gig virtually never works, and i would imagine promoting an interim position coach works out even less.

Most likely the Dabo hire will go down as an historical aberration rather than a model for future ADs to follow.


It was a great hire made for the right reasons.

[3]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 6:58 PM
    Reply

There is not a lot to be learned from what most schools do when hiring a HC, and the results don't offer much guidance, as every situation is different and unique. Dabo's hiring seemed a lot riskier to the average fan and self-proclaimed experts than it was. I'll admit, it was very risky as far as the level of backlash TDP would have faced had Dabo failed, but TDP knew Dabo, had seen his impact on the program and the players, knew Dabo had a vision and a plan to get there. He knew how ready he was, and I don't think he believed it was nearly as big of a risk as most fans did. And he was right.

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"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
- H. L. Mencken


In my mind, it took even MORE guts for TDP to stick with

[1]
Posted: Apr 15, 2019 9:10 AM
    Reply

Dabo after the 6-6 regular season in 2010. People (lots of them on here) were literally HOWLING for a change, but thankfully, TDP stood his ground. He either had an inordinate amount of faith, or a really good crystal ball. Dabo has often told the story about Kathleen crying in the hall, saying TDP was waiting for him in the office after the regular season ending loss to USuk, thinking he was about to get fired. But, TDP gave him another year, and the rest, as they say, is HISTORY, still being written.

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The real question is what kind of mistake would we have made if we had the money?

[2]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 10:52 AM
    Reply

I always thought Dabo was a cost effective hire. In 2008 the economy was collapsing and we had to pay Tommy Bowden the rest of his contract. (I swear the two things he did best was beat the Chickens and negotiate buyouts.) Clemson was not awash in cash, so we had to find a bargain. I now see that lack of finances as a blessing. We took a risk on our WRs coach, and no one knew it would lead to this.

So I wonder if the AD had more money in 2008, where would we be today? We probably hire Brian Kelly or Todd Graham. Maybe we play in a few ACCCG, but that’s about it.

I’ll say this too: every cent we paid Tommy Bowden to leave Clemson was worth it. TDP could’ve just let TB run the team into the ground. But he didn’t let a bad contract compound a deteriorating situation. I’m sure it wasn’t easy but it was the right call.


Re: The real question is what kind of mistake would we have made if we had the money?


Posted: Apr 14, 2019 11:09 PM
    Reply

Dabo's hiring had nothing to do with saving money . It was something TDP wanted to do for a long time . He could see that beneath the surface our fb program was going down the shi ter and he was sick of TB .

I can , with great confidence, assure anyone who has half a brain that TDP did not sit down with Tommy and ask his opinion on who should be hired as "interim" . He knew the #### thing was broke , and told Dabo to do what he had to do , to fix it .

TDP was not alone in seeing what Dabo could do . After all, Dabo had recruited about 37 of the 75 or so players we had on scholarship when Bowden left. Dabo 's success is partly a result of just working his ### off .

So , for these reasons it can be better to hire from within , if the pieces are there already .

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Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 11:56 AM
    Reply

Really good article.
Brian Kelly pic: priceless!


Terry Don Phillips actually

[3]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 1:53 PM
    Reply

Had a track record of hiring unlikely candidates. He launched Les Miles career...followed by Mike Gundy's, at Oklahoma State. Apparently, TDP is one of those rare individuals that listens and observes very effectively, without saying much. Face it, you don't find three coaches with the tenure of Miles, Gundy, and Dabo that one AD held the starters' pistol for.


Re: Terry Don Phillips actually


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 3:01 PM
    Reply

Skip Holtz should have stayed at ECU.

2019 purple level member


Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 3:50 PM
    Reply

There is no other Dabo in college FB, and there won't be another unless one of his son's has inherited his traits and ideas, Period. Also, TDP could have done a full year of researching for the right HC for Clemson, and he wouldn't have found another that would've been as successful as Dabo has been at Clemson bc, he is a once in a life time hire, Period!!!

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Great stuff - great post. Correction needed:

[1]
Posted: Apr 13, 2019 4:38 PM
    Reply

Skip Holtz - USF is in Tampa, not Orlando.

2019 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg

Fixed it--always get UCF and USF mixed up... I always think


Posted: Apr 14, 2019 10:35 AM
    Reply

"USF is not in South FL" but then overcorrect in my head and put it in Orlando...

2019 white level member

Re: Dabo vs. The "Coaching Search" Candidates


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 4:40 PM
    Reply

In hindsight, Dabo was a great hire. I am 100% glad he is our coach. Wouldn't trade him for ANYBODY! Having said that, at the time of his hire, he was not by normal standards qualified for the job. He got off to a rocky start, but built a premiere program. I am glad it paid off, but you must admit that Dabo was a huge gamble at the time.


You left out Lane Kiffen.***


Posted: Apr 13, 2019 6:11 PM
    Reply



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I don't remember him being a serious candidate but I'll


Posted: Apr 14, 2019 10:43 AM
    Reply

add him for fun.

2019 white level member

Great read. Thanks!***


Posted: Apr 14, 2019 11:14 AM
    Reply



2019 purple level member

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