Dabo Swinney has made Clemson great again in football.
“So I guess it’s time to go to the White House,” Swinney said laughing Monday evening at IPTAY’s Prowl & Growl event in Greenwood.
Though nothing official has been released by the White House, Clemson’s football team, according to Swinney, will head to Washington, D.C. on June 12 and will be honored by President Donald Trump as well as be his guest in the White House for winning the 2016 National Championship.
Swinney said it will be a one-day event for the program. The team will fly up early that morning and will come back to Clemson late that night.
“I’m all excited,” Swinney said. “We’re really looking forward to going up there. I got to do that as a player after we (Alabama) won it in ’92. It was an unbelievable experience. It will be the same for our guys.”
The last time Clemson went to the White House was in 1982, following its 1981 National Championship.
After slowly building the football program back up in his the last six years, Swinney is thrilled Clemson fans have been able to enjoy this time as much as he and the coaches and the players have since beating Alabama 35-31 on Jan. 9 in the national championship game.
“I’m excited that everybody got a chance to have that moment of joy,” he said. “That’s been the best part is the videos that people send me. They’ll say look coach, here’s where I was sitting. And then just that last play, everybody’s going crazy and grown men crying and fathers and their sons hugging. It was a special moment. A lot of people running through their house and breaking doors, just going crazy, staying up way past their bedtime, it was just a great moment.”
However, Swinney told the Greenwood Clemson Club there is more to come. Winning the national championship was great, but they want to win it again.
“I’m not interested in being average,” Swinney said. “I’m not interested in being good enough. I want to be the best. I want young people that want to be the very best that they can be. I want Clemson to be the best.”
Right now it is, and after winning 70 games in six years and hauling in seven top 10 recruiting classes, it does not look like the Tigers are going anywhere any time soon.
“I said that early on when I got the job — I want other schools to want to be like Clemson,” Swinney said. “I want Alabama to want to be the Clemson of the SEC. I’m not interested in being the Alabama of the ACC.”