Today will mark just the fourth game of the 2017 football season, but it will also mark Clemson’s fourth game at Clemson Memorial Stadium, which turned 75 years old this past Tuesday, when it host Boston College at 3:30 p.m.
Playing in Memorial Stadium, a.k.a. Death Valley, is always special for the second-ranked Tigers, but now it is even more special considering they only come to the stadium for a certain number of scrimmages and their seven home games each year.
Last February, Clemson football moved into its new facility, the Allen Reeves Football Complex, including a new state of the art locker room which the team uses on a daily basis, except on game days.
“We’ve got our third game in the Valley, and I was talking to our team about that this morning…just making sure you appreciate each one,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “We work all year for so few opportunities.”
More than 80,000 fans are expected to watch the Tigers (3-0, 1-0 ACC) try to stay undefeated on a day when so many from the past will be honored as well. Today, Clemson’s Athletic Department introduces its newest members into its Hall of Fame.
Eight former athletes from seven different sports, plus one coach from the early days of Clemson football comprise the Clemson Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
This year’s class includes nearly 100 years of Clemson athletic history. The group includes former Clemson coach Josh Cody, who led the Clemson football program between 1927-‘30. He never lost to South Carolina in his career, the only Clemson coach with at least four years of experience to make that claim.
Also being inducted is Tye Hill, the only former Clemson football player in the class. The 2005 Clemson graduate was an All-American in football as a senior when he was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and was the No. 15 selection of the NFL draft. He was also an ACC Champion in track.
The other seven inductees are Wolde Harris (men’s soccer), Katie Carson (women’s soccer), Tony Wheeler (track), Anne Evans (cross country), Giselle Oliveira (track), Richard Coughlan (men’s golf) and Steve Renshaw (fencing).
“We’ve got a lot going on this weekend, especially with the Hall of Fame. Fred Cone and Phil Prince are honorary captains. I’m just really excited to be back at home,” Swinney said.
Cone and Prince are the two oldest living former Clemson football players. They also played against Boston College in 1948. That 1948 team went 11-0 that season.
For Swinney, it’s important his team continues to get better and play well on what is expected to be such as special day for the Clemson Family.
“For us, it’s about trying to get better…trying to improve on some things,” the Tigers’ head coach said. “We were excited to win the (Louisville) game last week, but there’s a lot we have to improve on. There were a lot of missed opportunities on offense, and we probably played our worst game defensively of the three games so far.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement as we get back on the field this weekend. We’ll get back at it today.”