Clemson Football: Dabo Swinney passes Florida State legend for ACC bowl victories

On the heels of becoming the winningest Clemson coach in program history, Dabo Swinney passed the great Bobby Bowden for the most bowl victories in charge of an ACC program.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney celebrates
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney celebrates / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Clemson Football defeated the Kentucky Wildcats in the Gator Bowl on Friday to reach nine wins on the season. It is the first season in several years that the Tigers did not reach ten wins.

Head coach Dabo Swinney was realistic about the end of the 10-win streak, choosing to reflect on it as an achievement rather than something that was lost.

With Friday’s win, Swinney can now reflect on another achievement.

Swinney now holds the record for the most bowl victories by a head coach in charge of an ACC program. Swinney now has twelve bowl victories.

The previous record holder was the late Bobby Bowden, who achieved eleven bowl victories during his legendary tenure with the Florida State Seminoles.

Bowden owned a total of 23 bowl victories in his career, 21 of which happened with Florida State, but only eleven happened after the Seminoles joined the ACC in 1992.

Two of Swinney’s bowl victories happened in CFP National Championship games: 2016 and 2018, both times against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Dabo Swinney now has two career achievements as the head coach of Clemson Football in the 2023 season

Swinney’s accomplishment comes in the same season that he passed Frank Howard for the most victories while the head coach at Clemson. Swinney achieved his 166th victory against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on November 4th to pass Howard’s 165 career wins.

Swinney is well-known for encouraging celebrations for any win, regardless of the circumstances. Following Clemson’s victory against the Wildcats, his team delivered the usual Gatorade shower.

Unfortunately, their timing caught ESPN’s Taylor Tannenbaum in the crossfire. She was splashed while interviewing Swinney after the game.

Tannenbaum handled the situation with poise, though she may be more alert for incoming celebratory Gatorade baths from now on.

The Tigers now turn their attentions to the spring, where they will be working with new offensive line coach Matt Luke for the first time, and Chris Rumph returns to coach the defensive ends for the first time since 2010.