Dabo Swinney – biography

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Life story of William “Dabo” Swinney

Dabo Swinney is currently working as a senior coach of the Clemson Tigers football team. Dabo started to work at the University of Clemson in 2008 as an offensive coordinator. He became a senior coach in 2009, soon after the ex-senior coach Tommy Bowden retired. Swinney is the second most successful coach in the history of the team (after Frank Howard).

He is 2015, 2016 and 2017 champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference, 2015 National Champion Head Coach. Dabo is the first coach in history awarded Ben Bryant National Coach of the Year award two times in a row, in 2015 and 2016.

Early Life and Education

  – Full name: William Christopher Swinney;

  – Date of birth: November 20, 1969;

  – Hometown: Birmingham — a city located in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama.

Dabo was the second child of Carol and Ervil Swinney. His nickname “Dabo” was given to him by his parents at a very young age. It was made up by Swinney’s brother, who called him “that boy” as an infant. It was hard for a little boy to pronounce that right as he was only a year and a half, so it sounded more like “da bo”. William spent his childhood in Pelham, Alabama.

Dabo Swinney was the student at the University of Alabama, studying business and finance. He started his football career in the league of 1989, playing as a wide receiver. Between 1990 and 1992, he played in three different teams. As a member of one of them, Crimson Tide’s, he won the National Championship in 1992 led by Gene Stallings. His football career ended after three successful seasons with his graduation in 1993. In 1995 Swinney earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

From an Assistant to the Head Coach

Despite the fact that Dabo started to work as a member of coaching stuff just after the graduation, his first attempts were not very successful.

December 1995 – 2001 — assistant of the receivers coach for Crimson Tide. The team performed below average during those years, and Swinney was fired in the middle of 2001 season.

2001 – 2003 — didn’t coach at all, worked on projects on developing the city instead.

2003 – 2008 — returned to college football now as a recruiter and leading the offense at Clemson University. Working for Tigers, he made a notable progress in his coaching skills. An experience in finding and recruiting new talented players would be very helpful for him later.

2009 was Dabo’s first season in command from the start to the end. That was also the year he was able to show everybody that he knew what he was doing. Ending the year on the 24th place in ranking he made a remarkable progress for Tigers, compared to their previous results. Three major wins against high-level teams from Kentucky, Miami, and Florida established Alabama’s intention to be in the list of the best 25 teams of the Atlantic Coast.

During the 2010 – 2014 seasons all doubts about his ability to grow stronger vaporized. 2010 was harsh but it was only an acceleration. In the first year of this period the team ended up being 6-7. However, the next four of them ended with the number all the fans waited for so long. Getting 10 wins in a season for four consecutive times brought final 15th, 11th, 8th and 15th positions in the ranking year by year. Their defense now was considered as the best one of the whole championship.

2015 – 2017 were seasons of a miracle. 2015 was the best year for Clemson since 1981. It was also the best year in the career of the head coach. The achievements of the previous years proved they can be one of the best 15 teams. But no one, even optimistic fans, expected the records one after another will begin. Clemson won the tournament leaving no chance to their opponents.

Claiming 14 wins in 2015 brought the second place in the overall ranking for Tigers, and the Head Coach of the Year award for Swinney himself. It was not a surprise that the university proposed Dabo to prolong his contract for another six years. And they didn’t make a mistake. Swinney won the bowl two more times one by one in 2016 and in 2017 with the astonishing stats 24-2 over two years.

According to a wide list of informational resources, Clemson has great chances to shine again in the upcoming year. Different polls give different predictions, but all of them believe we will see Dabo in top five. Mark Schlabach, senior ESPN writer, noted team’s amazing defense potential. They were 1st for the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) in sacks (46), 6th in tackles for loss (109) and 8th in yards allowed per rush (3.1). He also predicted the Tigers to be the heavy leader both of the ACC season and the College Football Playoff (CFP).

List of Achievements

  • National CFB Champion coach in 2016;
  • Three times (2015, 2016, 2017) Champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference coach;
  • Top 5 team according to preseason polls seven years in a row;
  • 3 consecutive years getting 12 wins in a season;
  • Coach of the Year 2015 by five different rankings;
  • Orange Bowl Champion coach in 2015;
  • First coach to end the season higher than preseason polls expected six years in a row;
  • Fiesta Bowl winners in 2016;
  • Won 82 matches over the last seven years;
  • Named Coach of the Year more than 11 times over the past two seasons.
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