Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers are the best in the nation where it counts most for the athletes that attend Clemson University to play football. Dabo is ranked No. 1 in the nation among FBS coaches in the Academic Progress Rate rankings just released.
Coach Swinney took a few minutes away from Wednesday’s camp to discuss the huge honor.
“It is a compliment to our players first of all. Those guys buying into the way we are trying to do things here. It is a great compliment to our coaches for how hard the work trying to support our academic goals. It is also a great compliment to our academic administration at Vickery Hall. They do a tremendous job. It is a compliment to Terry Don Phillips for the commitment that he has made from a resource standpoint. It takes all of that. There is no magic formula. It takes all of that working together to get it done. I think we have created a good culture here academically,” said Swinney.
Dabo hopes the Tigers can be No. 1 in one more category in 2011.
“We are on a roll man. Supposedly we have the No. 1 toughest schedule in the country. Now we have the No. 1 APR. We just need to get the triple crown and have the No. 1 team this year and it is going to be quite a year,” said Swinney.
Going into his third year as the Tiger’s head coach Dabo is not just worried about how his players do on the field, but more importantly how he and his staff prepare the young men for their futures.
“I have two agendas here. My two agendas are to graduate my players and develop them into the very best young men that I can so that when they leave here they are going to be prepared for life and go be good ambassadors for Clemson, good husbands, fathers. That is a major agenda of mine. The other agenda is we have to get it done on the field. I believe wholeheartedly that if we are committed to doing our best off the field we are going to get our best on the field. We have had one good season and one bad season, but our players are 100 percent committed to what we are trying to do from a program standpoint. That is what we are trying to do. Not just a team, we are trying to build a program. This is a big part of it to graduate your players. It is one thing to talk about it. It is one thing to say it but when you are backing it up and committed to it then it will reflect and I think this is a reflection of our commitment. I really feel like we are on the verge of great things in all areas here at Clemson,” said Swinney.
How does it help to be able to take this new ranking into the home of recruits?
“It helps a tone because again it just shows that you have a plan and a process in place that you are committed to and obviously one that you believe in and your players believe in. You don’t just luck up and have that type of success. It takes a commitment. It takes a daily commitment of handling your business. It takes everybody working together and I think we have that here,” replied Swinney.
Four ACC teams finished among the top ten. Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson is No. 4, Boston College’s Frank Spaziani is No. 7 and Duke’s David Cutcliffe is No. 8 in the nation.
The ACC is the top rated conference while the SEC comes in at No. 4.