‘Happy Anniversary’: Swinney celebrates 12th year as Tigers head coach

‘Happy Anniversary’: Swinney celebrates 12th year as Tigers head coach
Dabo Swinney is joined arm in arm with players during Clemson's "Victory Walk" ahead of their game against Miami on October 10, 2020. (Source: Ken Ruinard)

CLEMSON, S.C. (WIS) - At around 12:30 Tuesday morning, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s wife, Kathleen, kissed him on the cheek and said, “Happy Anniversary.”

He first panicked, calling it “an out of body experience.” Swinney was not quite sure what she was talking about.

Every man’s worst fear, right?

Then, it sunk in. Twelve years ago on October 13, the Tigers gave Swinney the keys to the program as the interim head coach. All these years later, Swinney is the face of Clemson football.

“It’s amazing,” said Swinney. “Hard to believe. Time flies. It’s been incredible. It’s cool for me because we have a bunch of guys on our staff now… a lot of these guys were here and playing. Cool to have these guys around. Come along the way, should have bet on the over.”

His first game was against Georgia Tech, which just so happens to be this week’s opponent. The Tigers lost that meeting in 2008 but the Tigers enter this weekend winners of five straight contests over the Yellow Jackets.

Swinney respects the challenge ahead and hopes his top-ranked Tigers (4-0) take another step forward in 2020.

“Proud of our team, proud of how they’ve worked these first four games,” Swinney added. “Put ourselves in a good position, a position we want to be in. We all know great teams get better, great teams improve. To me, that’s the next step up for us to clean up some of the mistakes we’ve made and play a complete game for four quarters.”

A victory Saturday moves Dabo to second all-time in the ACC with 135 career victories.

The Tigers will face Georgia Tech at noon Saturday.

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