Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden will make his first ever trip to Clemson this weekend and can’t wait to hang out with Dabo Swinney while in town.
Gruden is the guest speaker for Swinney’s annual All In Ball, which will be held this Saturday, and will fly in a day early so he can spend time with Swinney and get a personal tour of the school from the Tigers’ head coach.
“He’s not your typical guy,” Swinney said of Gruden during an interview with William Qualkinbush and Kelly Gramlich on “Out of Bounds” on WCCP 105.5 FM The Roar on Tuesday. “A lot of times you just want to make things as easy as possible. We’ll get you in, we’ll get you out. And he’s like, no. He said, ‘Man, I want to hang out.’ So I’m like, ‘Well, OK.’
“So, he’s going to come in on Friday and we’re going to hang out and spend some time and talk some ball and show him Clemson on Saturday and just really take some time to tour him around a little bit, and then the event is Saturday night. So, he’s really excited about it. He’s been pumped about this for a year. But we’ve just become friends, and he loves our guys and is excited to come experience Clemson.”
Swinney and Gruden have gotten to know each other well in recent years, with the Raiders – also known as “Clemson West” by some – drafting a handful of former Tigers including defensive end Clelin Ferrell (2019), cornerback Trayvon Mullen (2019), wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (2019), linebacker Tanner Muse (2020) and offensive lineman John Simpson (2020).
Gruden was actually slated to be the guest speaker at the 2020 Clemson Football Coaches Clinic last March before the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
“We’ve just kind of become buddies over the last few years here,” Swinney said. “He’s actually never been to Clemson, and he’s been trying to come a couple times. In fact, he was coming last spring. He was going to speak at our clinic last spring, and that literally was supposed to be right after spring break. Of course, it was during spring break that COVID hit, so that obviously cancelled his trip and he hasn’t had a chance to get here. So, we talked about it last year and he said well, let’s just do it next year. So, here’s next year.”
Swinney’s All In Team Foundation’s All In Ball is dedicated to raising awareness of critical education and health issues in order to change the lives of people across the state of South Carolina. Since 2009, the All In Team Foundation has raised and donated over $6.6 million to breast cancer research, The Family Effect, the LIFE Programs, and CallMeMISTER, as well as to hundreds of South Carolina-based research teams, non-profits, and organizations.
This year marks the first ever “hybrid” All In Ball, which will host a limited number of in-person attendees (approximately 350-400) and will also offer a virtual live stream of the program and live auction.
Those who want to purchase live stream access for $50 or register to bid in the silent/live auctions for free can do so here.
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