During the Orange and White Spring Game broadcast on the ACC Network on Saturday Dabo Swinney reflected on his friendship with legendary North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams in the wake of his retirement announcement earlier this week.
Swinney also shared an anecdote about Williams’ childhood connection to Clemson football.
As a kid growing up in the mountains of western North Carolina, Williams would travel down to Clemson to watch the Tigers play football on Saturdays in the fall.
“He loves to tell me the story about his first college football game, I think it was a quarter or maybe ten cents to sit on the hill,” Swinney said. “He’d come down the mountain to watch the game and loves to tell that story about coming down to watch the Clemson games and sitting on the hill.”
Swinney credited Williams for being one of the genuine good guys in the coaching profession and shared some insight about their relationship off the field and court.
“He is an incredibly genuine person and one of the good guys out there. He loves the kids, is passionate about the game and is one of those coaches that early on really went out of his way to welcome me. He has always been really,” Swinney said. “Gracious with his time when I’ve been around him and we’ve spent time playing some golf together.
Swinney is sad to see Williams go at North Carolina but knows that he still has a bright future.
“I’m really sad to see him retire but super excited to see what comes next,” he said. “He’s done an incredible job of building his own legacy to go along with what coach Smith did for so many years.”