2008: The Interim
I remember where I was when I heard that Head Coach Tommy Bowden had been hired and Dabo Swinney would be taking over.
It had been a dismal season that had the Tigers sitting at 3-3 with a blowout loss to Alabama, and losses to Maryland and Wake Forest.
The first thing I did?
I began to research who this Dabo Swinney character was. I knew he was the Wide Receivers Coach, but why would Bowden recommend him for the interim job? Surely he had to be getting back at Tiger Nation for the lack of support?
Swinney burst on to the scene with some passionate and fiery statements. He challenged Clemson football fans to be “All In” and join in on the first ever “Tiger Walk.”
He rallied the troops and led the Tigers to a 4-2 second half of the season, which included a 31-14 win over in-state rival South Carolina to close the season.
On December 1, 2008, the “interim” tag was officially removed off an emotional Dabo Swinney.
That first half-season was a topsy-turvy one filled with emotions.
Tiger fans began to wonder what the future would have in store.
Could this guy, a Wide Receivers Coach, bring the Clemson football program back to respectability?
Next: 2009: ACC Atlantic Champions