Everyone wants to know what Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is like.
“Is he really as genuine and sincere as we have seen on television? Is he really that energetic with his football team? Is that his true personality?”
My answer to them is “yes.”
As someone who has followed Swinney since he was a young wide receivers coach at Clemson that no one knew except the local media, he has never changed who he is. He is the same guy the world sees on a weekly basis during his press conferences as I used to see when we talked down in the hallway in the basement of the Jervey Athletic Center where the old football locker rooms used to be.
So it was no surprise for me to read Cliff Sims’ testament on what he saw in regards to Swinney being Dabo Swinney.
Sims, a special assistant to President Donald Trump, said he watched as Swinney let everyone go in front of him as the team entered the Capitol Building on Monday during the Tigers’ celebratory visit to Washington, D.C.
The temperature in Washington on Monday rose to 95 degrees and Swinney, like the rest of his team, was wearing a suit.
“The massive Clemson entourage kept slowly piling in,” Sims said on his Facebook post. “About 15 minutes later, near the end of the line, Coach Swinney walked in, still wearing his suit but now totally drenched in sweat.
“In spite of being the most senior/important/famous person there, he didn’t skip the line. He didn’t complain. He let almost everyone else go in front of him. That’s leadership.”
That is Dabo Swinney.
Each and every day he preaches to his team about doing to the little things right or as he said during his speech at the White House on Monday, “When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”
He not only preaches George Washington Carver’s quote, but lives by it. A case in point is Monday’s trip through the security line at the Capitol Building.
“(Swinney) talked about people focusing on life’s big moments, while forgetting that, really, life is what happens between those big moments–the small things–like having built your character to the point that you don’t even cut corners in the blistering heat outside the U.S. Capitol, even though you’ve already won the National Championship and don’t have anything left to prove,” Sims said.
This isn’t the first time I have heard of Swinney displaying his character in public. I have personally seen him sit and sign autographs for an extra 90 minutes than he was supposed to because he wanted to make sure that little kid sitting in the very back of the line got his autograph.
There is countless stories where time-and-time again, he stayed for nearly two hours at the local Bi-Los following his radio call-in show to make sure everyone who came to see him got his autograph.
Swinney’s brother, Tracy, who serves as Swinney’s head of security when the head coach attends events and speaking engagements, has even gone up to his brother and offered to be “the bad guy” if he wanted him to. However, Swinney says “No Thanks! We will stay for another 25 minutes or so.” An hour later he finally gets done.
That’s Dabo Swinney. He is not phony. He is exactly what you see on television. He is genuine. He is a leader that is not only vocal, but he leads by example.