CHARLOTTE — October 13, 2017, that’s the last time Syracuse won a football game. More surprisingly is its last win came against Clemson, the defending national champion, who was ranked No. 2 in the country at that point in the season.
Despite the 27-24 loss, the Tigers still went on to make their third consecutive College Football Playoff appearance later that season. There is no question Clemson has established itself as one of the most successful programs in all of college football and although the loss to Syracuse stunned many, the way Dabo Swinney and the entire team handles failure and adversity is actually what adds to the success of the program.
After that Syracuse game, Swinney made it a point to go into the Syracuse locker room and congratulate the Orange on their win. It’s a gesture you don’t see too often for the losing coach to go all the way into the opposing team’s locker room, but it’s no surprise Swinney was the one to do it.
The Syracuse coaches and players appreciated Swinney’s words and it’s something they still remember and appreciate very well.
“Well, the win was great, so that’s what was great for us,” said Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey Thursday at the ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte. “Coach Swinney, he’s a class act, so it was cool to see that.”
Swinney commands the attention of people from all over the country not only because of his success as a football coach, but because of who he is as a person. He teaches his players that who they are as a person in life means so much more than who they are as a football player.
“(Swinney) is a very unique person,” said Syracuse head coach Dino Babers. “I think I see him as a very truthful person. His personality and his ethics are on his sleeve, and I think he’s one of those individuals in college football where what you see is what you get.
“I think he’s exactly what you guys appear him to be. Now, I may be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. I’ve been old enough to be wrong before. But my gut tells me that I’m right about Dabo Swinney.”