Kelly, Swinney are more than just adversaries

Kelly, Swinney are more than just adversaries


Kelly, Swinney are more than just adversaries

ARLINGTON, Texas — One might think Cotton Bowl coaches Dabo Swinney and Brian Kelly do not mingle much outside of football.

Notre Dame after all is located in the Midwest in the state of Indiana, while Clemson is located in the South in the northwest part of the state of South Carolina.

But Notre Dame’s Kelly and Clemson’s Swinney are pretty good friends, a relationship that dates back prior to their classic clash in Death Valley back in 2015.

“We had met a couple of times prior to that,” Kelly said Monday prior to the Irish’s practice at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “We spent some time in the off-season in ’15 at some different events. We play in the Peach Bowl Classic golf tournament together. So, we have been able to spend some more time outside of football.”

Kelly says the two coaches talk a lot about football, but most of the conversations are about life outside of football.

“I think we enjoy our company in a sense that we can talk about other things other than football,” he said. “We talk about our foundations and what we do in our foundations. We can keep it lighthearted. It does not have to always be about football and I think we like it like that.”

Kelly and Swinney will not talk much this week, though. The Tigers play Notre Dame here on Saturday in the 83rd Cotton Bowl Classic as part of the College Football Playoff.



PITTSBURGH — Sparked by a third-quarter turnaround, the Clemson Tigers outscored the Pittsburgh Panthers by 11 points in the second half for a come-from-behind, 65-59, victory at the Petersen Events (…)


Outside of Sammy Watkins’ freshman season in 2011, no freshman wide receiver had the kind of year Clemson’s Justyn Ross had this past year. The Alabama native hit the 1,000-yard mark thanks to (…)


He is probably the most unheralded player on the defense, but without him, Clemson might not be a national champion for a second time in three years. At 6-foot, 235-pounds, Kendall Joseph is considered a (…)

More The Clemson Insider