Ten years later, Swinney and family still dreaming. Extravagantly.


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Swinney gets another Gatorade bath after another ACC Championship
Swinney gets another Gatorade bath after another ACC Championship

CHARLOTTE, NC – Ten years. Hundreds of games. One dream.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was like a kid early Sunday morning, splashing through the puddles that had accumulated on the Bank of America field, hugging anyone and everyone in sight. He sat down in front of a large replica of the ACC Championship trophy, pointed to it and laughed with the onlookers, saying, “This would look good in my living room.”

He quickly jumped up and found his mother, enjoyed a quick hug, then celebrated with fans hanging over the railing. He was in his element, enjoying the now, but thoughts of the past were never too far away.

Saturday was the 10th anniversary of when Swinney had the interim tag removed from his title and was introduced as head coach at a press conference in the McFadden Auditorium.

He was surrounded by family that day and he was surrounded by family Saturday night as the Tigers won their fourth consecutive ACC Championship.

“Well, if you go back and watch my press conference from 10 years ago on this day, you'll see my sweet wife, who is here, and my mom, they were there that day,” Swinney said. “But if you go back and look at that, it's hilarious because it's the epitome of my children. Will, my oldest, he was kind of on the edge of his seat. He's 10. He's listening to everything that dad said. He's kind of my shadow, a mini-me.

Then, Drew, he's laid back like this, This is great, all good. Kind of just cool. Then Clay, my baby, he's knocked out, asleep, could care less what's going on. That is the epitome of my three children. 10 years later, I mean, if you go back and you freeze that moment, as you get older, you don't feel any different, seems like yesterday, but that moment is frozen in my mind. 10 years later, Will and Drew are on the team. To see them be a part of it, it's just incredible. Clay is over there working for me on the sideline. He was actually awake for all four quarters.”

Swinney made sure to share a moment with each of his three sons on the stage during the celebration.

“It's just amazing,” he said. “Special as a parent to be able to share that with your children, to see them just love what they're doing.”

Despite all of the Tigers’ success, Swinney said he truly believes the best is yet to come.

“Well, as I've said many times, we're not even close to what I was dreaming about. I've never been a small dreamer. I had a lot of time as a kid to dream. There wasn't much else left to do,” he said. “I've always dreamed big. The Bible says as a man thinketh so is he. I've always believed in that. I think you got to be a champion on the inside. You got to believe the right things. You got to be able to see it and have a vision for it. Then you got to go act upon it.

“You can't be afraid to fail. Can't let other people put limits on -- let other people put limits on what you can and can't do. Man, absolutely. There are a few things I think we could have done better. But absolutely I had a vision for building a program that could be special, that could be hopefully a model in college football. I think we're still under construction, still got a lot of work to do. I continue every day and every year to continue to dream, to believe in a very positive future.”

Ten years ago he dreamed and he’s still dreaming. Extravagantly.

“That's just the way I go about things. I've never sat around and said, Well, hopefully, we can win nine games, this and that. If we're going to dream, let's extravagantly dream,” Swinney said. “Let's go all out with it. Let's get a bunch of good people together, be able to sell that and articulate that, get young people to buy into it.

“Man, it's amazing what you can do when you get a bunch of people to come together for a common purpose, singleness of purpose, one heartbeat. It's powerful. It's powerful. It's what the Bible says. Two can accomplish more than, twice as much as one. Great synergy when you got a lot of people that believe in that same vision. That's what we got at Clemson.”

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