Summer 2024

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney: Jesus helps me 'survive and thrive'

Ask Dabo Swinney about his faith, and he will not be afraid to share it.

That may have been the biggest takeaway from the Clemson head coach’s press conference at the ACC’s Kickoff media event. Swinney may be one of the Tigers’ most productive leaders in school football history, having captured multiple national championships and racked up more than 100 all-time wins. But most of his passion addressing reporters this week stemmed from a question about his tendency to point to God after even the biggest college football accomplishments.

“That’s the easiest question I’ve had all day,” Swinney said. “To me, that’s just the priorities of my life.”

The four-time ACC champion said he “didn’t really have a relationship with Christ until” he was 16. But since that “game-changer,” faith has “become the foundation” of his life.

“It’s hard to survive and thrive in this world if you don’t have a spiritual foundation,” he continued. “For me, God has always, in my relationship with Christ, has given me hope and peace … If there’s hope in the future, there’s power in the present to deal with whatever mess you’re dealing with in your life, [and] what Christ did for me, it gave me a hope and a belief beyond my circumstances.”

Rarely one to shy away from his beliefs, Swinney went on to answer the reporter’s original question about his accomplishments in light of his faith, suggesting his greatest feats have had little to do with football. After saying “the greatest accomplishment for me is to see my three sons come to Christ,” he emphasized why he continues to live his life centered on Jesus.

“Hopefully [my life’s] going to be pleasing to my Maker,” he said, “because I know I’m going to meet Him one day, and He’s not going to pat me on the back talking about how many wins I had, how many Coach of the Year trophies we got or how much money I made.”

– Clemson National Champion Wide Receiver Hunter Renfrow: “Life’s about Jesus”
– Dabo Swinney’s journey to Clemson (by Game Plan For Life)
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