Plyler Interview: Dabo Swinney

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Mickey Plyler's interview with new Clemson wide receiver coach Dabo Swinney on Tuesday. Listen to "Plyler on Sports" weekdays 4-6PM on 1070AM in Upstate SC.

Plyler: How did things work with you coming to Clemson and could you give us some background on how everything worked out in the last couple of weeks for you?

Swinney Bio

1989-92 Alabama wide receiver
1993-95 Alabama graduate assistant
1996 Alabama wide receiver and tight end coach
1997 Alabama tight end coach
1998-00 Alabama wide receiver coach

Swinney: It has been a crazy couple of weeks as far as everything that happened. Coach Bowden called me and asked me if I was interested and I said I was. I had an opportunity to come up and interview on Tuesday. I interviewed for a few days and he offered me the job, and I immediately accepted it. Coach Bowden was actually my position coach at Alabama. We have a good relationship and have kept in contact with him. We probably talk twice a year. It was a really natural fit for me and I’m thrilled to work with him and fulfill the expectations at Clemson.

Plyler: Tell us about the tough decision on whether to get back into the profession of coaching.

Swinney: I have seen it all. I was at Alabama for thirteen years as a player and a coach. I was part of a lot of championships and three different head coaches and six different offensive coaches. I have had a chance to experience the highs and lows of college football. I absolutely love coaching. It is absolutely my passion and trying to change young people’s lives. It is hard to fill that void. I have been looking for the right opportunity. When coach Bowden called, I just knew that it would be the right thing and just thankful that it worked out and I am excited to be at Clemson.

Plyler: Is there a guy out there that has modeled your offensive coaching after?

Swinney: First of all, I have to mention Coach Bowden. He had real high energy and really prided himself on teaching the technical and the fundamentals of the position. I learned a lot from him. Coach Stallings came in there, and I played for him my last three years, and I have tremendous amount of respect for. I have learned a lot from him. Homer Smith was another coordinator that I learned tremendously from. I have had a chance to experience everything from the option to five wide. I hope that I will bring a different perspective and bring a lot to the table here at Clemson with our staff.

Plyler: Did you contact anyone about Clemson before you accepted the job or just something that you just trusted Coach Bowden was doing something good here ?

Swinney: Anywhere Coach Bowden was I would have liked to be around him and be around his positive energy and the faith that he believes in. Everyone I talked to was just thrilled that I had the opportunity here at Clemson and had nothing but great things to say about the people here at Clemson and the tradition here. I just jumped at the opportunity.

Plyler: How do you describe yourself as a coach ?


Which wide receiver could have a breakout season this year under new coach Swinney?

Michael Collins

Derrick Hamilton

Kevin Youngblood

Kelvin Grant

Airese Currie

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Swinney: I am definitely a high energy guy. I am a very positive guy and most people would say that I am a player’s coach. I just try to treat people the way that I would want to treat me. The biggest thing that I pride myself in is the fact that I am a teacher and try to make my players into complete players. I try to get them to do all the things they need to do to win a championship. Hopefully, I can translate that at Clemson into players that are fundamentally sound and have good technique.

Plyler: Why do most people think of you as a highly regarded recruiter ?

Swinney: I have been successful at recruiting and signed a lot of guys at Alabama. Some of those guys are still playing and some of those guys have moved on and graduated or playing in the NFL. The biggest thing in recruiting is just trying to get a relationship with somebody. The good lord has blessed me with the ability to deal with people and I think that recruiting is not something that you can just pick up in November. You have to be willingly to put the time in with these kids. I think recruiting at Clemson will be a easy sell. There are a lot of things that should attract young men. It is a great educational institution and is a great place to live. I think with all these things, we will be able to take recruiting to the next level.

Plyler: What can you tell me about the WR squad at Clemson ?

Swinney: My initial reaction is that they are a very talented group. Coach Stockstill has done a great job coaching these guys. These guys have a little bit of everything including speed. I am happy that I have only one senior in Kevin Youngblood. We have some good young guys with a lot of skill. We have a lot to do but no means are we ready to go. I am excited with what we have to work with. We have a very deep and talented group.

Plyler: What are some of the things you are trying to accomplish before Summer Break ?

Swinney: The biggest thing is finishing the next seven practices and trying to get to know these guys and them trying to get to know me better. Hopefully they will get comfortable with me. I have to evaluate them a little more and make sure some of the guys are in the right place and asking them to do the right things. I will get a better feel for all of that in the next couple of weeks. I also will try to get the right kind of attitude in our wide receiver group and try to be a positive group on our football team. We are going to be unselfish and do the things that we need to do and make plays when we have opportunities. I am really excited because these guys have great attitudes as well.

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