Dabo Swinney is a well-known name in American college football. As a college student, he played for Alabama university’s Crimson Tide football program in the early 90s. He joined the Tigers as an assistant coach way back in 2003 and in 2008, he was made the interim head football coach following the midseason resignation of Tommy Bowden. The “interim” tag was withdrawn in December 2008 and Swinney assumed the role of full-time head coach of The Clemson Tigers.
Known as a top-notch recruiter and as head coach, he has led the Tigers to several successes both on and off the field. In 2017, he led the Tigers to their first National Championship in nearly 3 decades, coincidentally against his own alma mater, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Dabo Swinney Biography
Dabo Swinney was born William Christopher Swinney on November 20, 1969, in Birmingham, Alabama to Carol McGraw and Ervil Swinney. He earned the moniker “Dabo” through his then-18-month-old brother who referred to him as “Dabo” instead of “that boy”.
Swinney had his high school education at Pelham High School. He had his college education at the University of Alabama where he played in the position of walk-on wide receiver. Between 1990–1992 Swinney played for the school’s football team, The Alabama Crimson Tide. He was part of the victorious Crimson Tide’s 1992 National Championship team.
In 1993, he graduated with a degree in commerce & business administration. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from the same institution in 1995.
Dabo Swinney served as a graduate assistant for the Tide’s football team in 1995 handling wide receivers and tight ends. He was fired along with the entire coaching crew in 2001 after which he took a break from his coaching career till 2003.
In 2003, Swinney joined Clemson University’s Tigers as a full-time assistant coach handling wide receivers. He equally doubled as recruiting coordinator and he excelled in both capacities.
In October 2008, Dabo Swinney assumed the position of Clemson Tigers’ interim head football coach. After a successful stint in that role, he was formally named as the team’s head coach on December 1, 2008.
He accomplished several feats in the 2009 season including leading The Tigers to their first championship of the ACC Atlantic Division. His reputation as an excellent recruiter has continued to soar. In 2011, coach Swinney received the Bobby Dodd National Coach-of-the-Year Award.
Beyond having an eye for recruiting young talented players, he is also known for making his team succeed both on the field and in the classroom. As Tigers’ head coach, he steered the 2016 Tigers team to clinch the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, its first since 1981.
His Family, Wife and Son
Dabo Swinney is married to Kathleen Swinney (née Bassett). The couple tied the knot way back in 1994.
The friendship between this couple dates back to their first grade at Pelham High School. They took their friendship to the next level when they were old enough. Just like her husband, Kathleen Swinney is also an alumnus of the University of Alabama. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education after which she worked as a school teacher.
Kathleen is equally highly dedicated to Alabama University’s Clemson Tigers which has earned her the title “first lady of Clemson football”. The couple were made honorary alumni of the university at the 2017 “All In Ball”, hosted by Dabo’s All In Team Foundation.
The couple has 3 children together, sons Will (19), Drew (17) and Clay (14). As expected, all three Swinney sons play football at their various schools.
Will Swinney is the oldest of Swinney’s 3 sons. He was born in 1998 in Clemson. He had his high school education at Daniel High School and he was a top receiver for his high school football team. In 2017, Will Swinney joined Clemson University’s football team as a walk-on. Joining the Clemson Tigers is really a dream come true for the young Swinney who has always been a huge fan of the Tigers.
Dabo Swinney’s Salary and House
In 2014, Tiger’s head coach Dabo Swinney signed an 8-year contract initially valued at $27.15 million. Under that contract, he received the sum of $3.3 million as his base salary in 2015. Following the team’s 2015 ACC title and College Football Playoff selection, Swinney’s annual pay was reviewed to a whopping $4.55 million in 2016 and the total of the contract was upgraded to $31.75 million.
In 2017, Dabo Swinney became the 2nd college football coach to exceed the $7 million mark in annual salary earnings. He received a total of $7.5 million – a $6 million base salary and $1.5 million signing bonus. His new contract places him on an average salary of $6.75 million per annum through 2024.
In October 2017, the man and his family moved into a new home in Clemson. The home is owned by the Swinney’s however, it was built with the intent that future Tiger coaches might find it convenient due to its proximity to the campus.
The home which has been described as a “castle” lies on 15,000 sq. ft. and contains multiple master suites, several living rooms, and dozens of rooms. It equally boasts of all the indoor and outdoor facilities you could think of; a theatre room in the basement, a basketball court, a personal gym, and an outdoor pool.