Dabo Swinney has been at Clemson since 2003. The former Tigers’ assistant coach became the head coach in 2008 in an interim role and was hired full-time beginning in 2009.
The national title-winning head coach revealed in a new profile that he was almost hired away by another major program.
Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples reports that Alabama head coach Nick Saban tried to hire Swinney back in 2007.
Thankfully for Clemson, Swinney stayed put.
It was around this time that Saban—who had already poached running backs coach Burton Burns from Clemson—called Swinney, whose reputation as a recruiter extended far beyond upstate South Carolina. Saban offered Swinney a job coaching receivers and the title of passing game coordinator. Larry Williams, then writing for The (Charleston, S.C.) Post And Courier, reported that Alabama had offered Swinney a deal worth $230,000 a year with an incentive package that could push Swinney’s total compensation to $300,000. Swinney made $135,000 a year at Clemson at the time.
Bowden couldn’t match the salary, but he could get close. He knew he’d also need to throw in a title to sweeten the deal and keep Swinney. (Brad) Scott, the former South Carolina head coach, was already the assistant head coach. “I had associate head coach,” Bowden says with a chuckle. “Don’t ask me what that is.” The title may not have had a specific definition, but it had the desired effect. “Tommy had promoted me. I knew I had opportunity to grow with him. He had verbalized his plan for me,” Swinney says. “I didn’t know Nick. There were more unknowns. I didn’t know most of the staff he was putting together.”
You can read the full profile here.
Swinney has compiled a career record of 107-30. He’s not going anywhere else anytime soon.