Monday Morning Quarterback
Will Dabo Swinney eventually leave Clemson for Alabama? I am asked this question at least once or twice a month by either a fan or when I go on a national radio show to talk about the Tigers.
I always respond the same way.
“Why does it matter right now? Dabo Swinney is the head football coach at Clemson and Nick Saban is the head coach at Alabama. Let’s just enjoy those facts and enjoy that these two programs are the best ones in college football right now.”
However, I understand why the debate continues. Both programs are concerned about their futures. They like the success they have had. They want to keep it going.
Alabama fans want to see Dabo Swinney be their head coach once Saban retires because they see Swinney as a guy who can keep it going. Look at what he has done at Clemson, plus he is the only guy to knock off Saban in a national championship game and he nearly did it twice.
Also, he is one of them. He is from Alabama. He grew up an Alabama fan and then went on to play for Alabama and coach there as an assistant coach.
Clemson fans on the other hand want to keep Swinney in Tigertown until his decides to retire from the game. He has already done more at Clemson than the great Danny Ford did. They do not want to imagine a time when he is no longer roaming the sideline at Death Valley.
Swinney to Alabama is a debate that will continue until one or two things happen. Either he shows Clemson he is not going anywhere by signing a contract that has a buyout clause that not even mighty Alabama can touch or he eventually says “thanks, but no thanks” to Bama when it comes calling for him after Saban retires.
We do know this much. Dabo Swinney loves Clemson. He will tell you that himself. But he just does not have to tell you to know that. His actions also say it.
Swinney, and his wife Kathleen, have become so much a part of the community. Of course their sons, Will, Drew and Clay, went and still go to Daniel High School. Swinney is very active in his sons’ activities. He attends all their games and he and Kathleen mix with all the other moms and dads as if they are just like any other family.
He even coaches his sons’ traveling baseball teams.
Then there is Dabo’s All In Foundation. The Swinneys raise millions of dollars each year to help the local community in so many ways. They also give back so much to Clemson University.
“Dabo is Clemson. That’s who he is,” said Woody McCorvey to ESPN’s Chris Low in an article Low wrote last week about this very subject.
McCorvey is of course Swinney’s associate athletic director for football administration. However, he is more than that. He is Swinney’s right-hand man. He was Swinney’s position coach at Alabama and has been a father figure and confidant to Swinney ever since.
If anyone knows what Dabo Swinney is thinking and how he feels about something, it is Woody McCorvey.
“Dabo’s a perfect fit here,” McCorvey continued in Low’s article. “He can get on his moped and ride from the house to the office and then back to the house, and everybody just waves at him and he’s waving at everybody. Some places, you can’t do that.
“And then look at his kids. Clemson is all they know. The only thing they know about Alabama is their daddy played there. They’ve grown up Clemson, and now, he’s got two sons on the team. This is their home.”
And Clemson appears to be Dabo Swinney’s home, too.
So, like, I tell everyone when I am asked about Dabo to Alabama, “why are we talking about it? Right now, Swinney is at Clemson and Saban is at Alabama. When something changes, let’s talk about it at that time.”
Right now, let’s enjoy the fact Dabo Swinney is Clemson’s head coach.