Iowa State coach talks relationship with Swinney; Clemson 'hopeful' to get healthy

Iowa State coach talks relationship with Swinney; Clemson 'hopeful' to get healthy


Iowa State coach talks relationship with Swinney; Clemson 'hopeful' to get healthy


After Clemson was chosen to play Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl later this month, both head coaches — Dabo Swinney and Matt Campbell — spoke on a media teleconference with reporters Sunday.

The game will be played on Dec. 29 at 5:45 p.m. at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

While the two programs have never faced one another, the relationship between the respective head coaches goes back to when they were crossing paths at an airport. They swapped numbers and from that moment on, they’ve consistently talked and kept in touch.

There’s a clear level of mutual respect between the two coaches.

Campbell, 42, had the opportunity to go down to Clemson and speak at one of Swinney’s clinics. While Swinney has also had a chance to visit with him on a personal level.

As for Campbell, he referred to his time down at Clemson as an “eye-opening” experience, which showed that there is a vision for running a football program the right way and Swinney is proof of that.

“I think for me, Coach Swinney has been a great resource for me…you’re always searching for people in our profession that are doing it the right way and are leading from the heart…it was a transformational experience for myself because of what I saw when I got to Clemson,” said Campbell. “The kindness and the care and the love and the passion that Coach [Swinney] led with and continues to lead with.

“I would just say for me, from afar, he’s been a great mentor, and certainly the time he’s given to me throughout my own career, I’ve been greatly appreciative of.”

As for Swinney, he had nothing but glowing things to say about Campbell, who has turned Iowa State into a national name and has

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Campbell,” Swinney said. “What an unbelievable job he has done at Iowa State.”

Swinney was asked about what’s stood out to him about the job Campbell has done at Iowa State and what makes him one of those young, elite coaches in college football.

“I was just immediately struck by his authenticity, who he is,” Swinney added. “I’ve admired what he’s done at a place where it’s not easy to go do what he’s done. He’s built an incredible culture there. Just an incredibly bright coach, a guy that I think really loves the player and is very serious about…winning.”

Swinney addresses injuries

As Swinney has said time and time again, this season, at least from an injury standpoint, is nothing that he’s quite experienced before.

Clemson’s head coach indicated that the Tigers were without 18 scholarship players during its 30-0 over South Carolina in the team’s regular-season finale.

They now have a few weeks to get healthy, ahead of the bowl game on Dec. 29. Whether Clemson will be able to return some injured starters remains to be seen. Of course, there also remains the possibility of more players entering the transfer portal, in addition to Taisun Phommachanh, Kane Patterson, Ray Thorton and Frank Lasdon, Jr.

However, Swinney remains hopeful that Clemson can get healthy with some extra time off.

“I’m glad our guys got time off this week, for sure,” he said. “It’s been good for them. Obviously, for the last seven years, we’ve been practicing this week. I think the break’s been good for them. We’ll start a couple of workouts this week. We’ll have a staff day next Sunday and we’ll start practice…definitely very hopeful that we can be as healthy as we’ve been, maybe all season, by the time we get to the bowl game. We’ll see, but [we’re] certainly hopeful.”

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