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Pat Forde Gave Clemson's Hiring Of Dabo Swinney A 'D-Plus' Back In 2008

Dabo Swinney had his interim tag removed and was named full-time head coach at Clemson on December 1, 2008. Pat Forde, then of ESPN, was not impressed.

Really, Forde was only a big fan of one hire during the 2008-2009 coaching carousel. He titled his coaching hire grades article "Coaching hires have been a laugh riot this holiday season." In it, he gives the decision to promote Swinney a D-plus.

Clemson.The hire: Swinney, who was recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach until Tommy Bowden was whacked in midseason. The grade: D-plus.

Swinney was part and parcel of a failed season, but somehow got a promotion out of the deal. Who knew that beating Duke and Virginia could lead to such ample rewards? Clemson fans loved the fact that the Tigers closed the regular season by beating rival South Carolina. But hey, Bowden beat the Gamecocks seven times in nine tries and look where that got him. Swinney has the same thing going for him that Sarkisian has at Washington: the in-conference competition in the ACC isn't that stiff.

Oh, how things have changed in the last eight years. Because the internet is the internet, people are letting Forde hear about it now that Swinney has taken the Tigers to the promised land.

In Pat Forde's defense, it would have been nearly impossible to project the heights that Swinney would reach at Clemson. The program hadn't won 10 games in 18 years when Swinney took over, and he was a largely unknown commodity as coach, outside of those who follow recruiting. Looking past that promotion was pretty easy, and we assume Forde was far from alone in doing so.

[ESPN]