GREENVILLE, S.C. — It seemed like yesterday when Dabo Swinney accepted the job to be Tommy Bowden’s wide receiver’s coach at Clemson.
Now, 18 years later, as the head coach, his oldest son, Will, is graduating from Clemson University. Will Swinney became the first Swinney to earn a degree from Clemson University on Friday, as he participated in commencement ceremonies at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.
“He really has excelled. He has done a super, super job,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said to The Clemson Insider. “I am thankful to all of his teachers. Then an added bonus is that he is my son. His dream was to come to Clemson.
“It is hard to believe he is actually graduating. It seems like yesterday we were just moving here, and he was four or five years old and now he has earned an unbelievable degree from this great university. So, I am really proud of him. His mom and I look forward to celebrating with him.”
Will Swinney, of course, played for his dad and with his younger brother, Drew, at Clemson.
Swinney’s childhood dream of being a Tiger made it even more special when he walked across the stage.
“It means even extra and definitely more because I always grew up dreaming about going to Clemson,” Swinney told The Clemson Insider. “It’s kind of funny because, beforehand, I never thought about graduating from Clemson, I just thought about being at Clemson.”
While Will’s time as an undergraduate ended on Friday, he is set to continue his Clemson career as he pursues a master’s degree in business administration while taking advantage of an extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a freshman, Swinney solidified himself as the starting placeholder but wished he had an opportunity to develop more as a wide receiver. He has caught 28 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown as a Tiger thus far.
Now he looks to take advantage of the extra year to earn more snaps on offense.
“That is just an added bonus. I am super proud of him, and Drew is going to graduate next year,” Dabo Swinney said. “My man Clay is going to graduate high school next year. So, there is a lot going on.”
Dabo Swinney says Will’s graduation is just another great example of what the culture and football program is all about at Clemson.
“I am proud of all of our graduates. Obviously, he is one of our football players that I am super proud of. He has just done an awesome job academically. It is great anytime you graduate from college,” the Clemson coach said. “Yeah, it is crazy. Yeah, time flies. You hear that all the time. I remember when I was a young parent and they would say, ‘It goes so fast. Enjoy it.’ But it really does. That is what I tell all the parents. Enjoy each and every day. They grow up fast. I am just thankful to see him. Have this wonderful degree and to be so equipped through his Clemson experience and his Paw Journey as a football player. It is a great day.”
—photo courtesy of Madison Williams
—Alex Dodd contributed to this story
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