Few coaches or players in all of football have as strong a connection to Alabama as Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. Having played for the Crimson Tide as a wide receiver in the early 1990s and served as an assistant there as well, his ties to the school run deep.
Meanwhile, Nick Saban is 67 years old, so naturally people have speculated for a long time as to who might replace him. With his strong ties to Alabama, Swinney’s name is constantly mentioned as a potential Saban replacement, and he addressed the idea this week.
Per ESPN’s David M. Hale, Swinney dismissed the notion of taking over as head coach of Alabama. He stated that he doesn’t pay attention to any of the talk of his potential fit with the Crimson Tide and reiterated his commitment to the Tigers.
“People always like to say one plus one equals two, and it’s a simple thing,” Swinney said of the speculation he would be Nick Saban’s eventual replacement at Alabama. “I don’t pay any attention. I was at Alabama 13 years. I love Alabama and always will. That won’t change. But I’m going on my 17th year at Clemson, my 11th as head coach. I love where I am, love what I do.”
Nevertheless, his commitment to Clemson didn’t stop the school’s athletic department from adding a separate Alabama clause in his latest contract extension.
The clause essentially makes it harder for him to jump ship to Alabama than any other school in the country (not that the Crimson Tide would have a hard time paying whatever added fees the Tigers tacked on).
Swinney coached Clemson to a historic 15-0 campaign in 2018 that included their second national title win in three years – both coming against Saban’s Crimson Tide.
In 11 years at the helm he has led the Tigers to five ACC titles, four appearances in the College Football Playoff, and the aforementioned two national title wins.