Swinney ready for a new beginning

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – New beginnings.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney stood before the media during Friday afternoon’s pre-spring press conference in the WestZone, and said that 2011 is a chance for his team to build off dismal 2010, a season that he termed a “failure.”

“There is a quote that I am encouraged by,” Swinney said prior to the first practice of the spring. “Henry Ford is one of the most successful Americans ever, and he had a lot of failure. He had a famous quote that said ‘Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.’

“I love that and it is encouraging to me. That is what our staff will do this spring – we will begin again. We have had a good offseason, and I have done a self-evaluation. There are things we can do to get better as a program, and I am excited to get out there and get started as a team today.”

Swinney was asked if he would term last season a failure, considering the quote.

“Absolutely, I consider last season a failure,” he said. “We didn’t work our tails off to be a six-win football team. That is not what I am about. I don’t like it. I hate it. It was frustrating is all I can say. I have always grown the most from tough times – that is when I have grown the most. And that is the case right here.”

Swinney said that it’s easy to coach when things are going well, but the true test comes when things start to turn sour – such as 2010.

“My first full season was an easy year – Coach of the Year candidate, won the division, played for the ACC Championship, won the bowl game – it was pretty easy to lead then,” Swinney said. “It’s different when you have to face some of the troubles we have had. I am just a little more seasoned. As far as more intelligently – I am at a place right now where I wish I could have been two years ago. It is what it is.

“But now I am very comfortable when I walk into the staff room because I hired everybody in there. Not that we weren’t on the same page before, but everybody is really engaged and we are pointed in the right direction. Like I said, I have been doing a lot of self-evaluation, and it is my job to look at things like that.”

Swinney also took the time to talk about the new media policies, and he said it was simply a case of trying to make sure he has the time for the bottom line – winning football games.

“My job is to win football games and graduate players and that is all I am trying to do. I am trying to do my job better and help my coaches do their job better. I am not a perfect human being. I make mistakes, I screw up and learn from them and grow. I want to be at Clemson a long time, and I understand what we have to do long-term to be successful. I just know that we will be better because of 2010 – but 2011 is going to be a great year and I fully expect us to be a good football team.”

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