Dabo Swinney on Hiring Former Players: ‘They’ve Lived It, They’ve Done It’

This past week at the ACC Kickoff Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had the opportunity to discuss the latest addition of former Tiger quarterback, Tajh Boyd, to his staff.

You won’t find a Tiger fan that doesn’t know who Boyd is and just what he’s meant to the program so it wasn’t shocking when it was announced that he was joining the staff as an analyst and would be assisting quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter.

Swinney was asked why it is so important for him to bring back former players like Boyd to his staff and he made it clear that he not only looks at Clemson as a job.

“I mean, Clemson is Clemson family,” Swinney said. “We’ve talked about that from day one when we built our program. I love being able to give a former player an opportunity where it’s warranted. It’s been cool to see so many guys pursue coaching. I love being able to nurture that. I love giving former players opportunities.”

He then took the time to explain why he feels that former players can be so important to a program.

“I think there’s nobody more invested in your program than those who have put their blood, sweat and tears into it,” Swinney pointed out. “So all the way from Tony Elliott who I coached, who was a captain for me, I think we’ve got 22 former players that are either full-time coaches, coordinators, P.A.W. Journey, strength and conditioning, player development, analysts, whatever it may be. I think their perspective is priceless. They’ve lived it. They’ve done it.”

Swinney also went on to explain not only his belief in former players but also just where it truly came from.

“Most of them, most all of them, played for me,” he said. “I’m not here if it wasn’t for the player. So for me to be able to give a guy an opportunity who played for me is a big deal. I’m also here because Gene Stallings gave me the opportunity. He could have given that opportunity to a lot of people, but he gave the opportunity to me because I had played for him for three years. I had been a GA for him for three years. Then, boom, he hired me full-time after that. Without that opportunity to be that graduate assistant, that opportunity to learn under him, come in and work, I’m probably not standing here for sure.”

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