Dabo Swinney is a well-known name in American college football. As a college student, he played for the Crimson Tide football program at the University of Alabama in the early 1990s. He joined the Tigers as an assistant coach in 2003, and in 2008 he was appointed interim head coach in football after Tommy Bowden resigned in mid-season. In December 2008 he was stripped of his “interim shield” and Swinney took on the role of full-time head coach of the Clemson Tigers.
Known as a top recruiter and head coach, he has led the Tigers to several successes on and off the pitch. In 2017, he led the Tigers to their first national championship in nearly three decades, against his own alma mater, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Dabo Swinney Biography
Dabo Swinney was born on November 20, 1969, in Birmingham, Alabama, the son of Carol McGraw and Ervil Swinney as William Christopher Swinney. He got the nickname “Dabo” from his brother, who was 18 months old at the time, who called him “Dabo” instead of “this boy”.
Swinney received his high school education at Pelham High School. He completed his college education at the University of Alabama, where he played in the position of a 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 national team in 1992.
In 1993, he graduated with a degree in business administration and economics. He also earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the same institution in 1995.
Dabo Swinney served as a graduate assistant to the Tide football team in 1995, where he was responsible for wide receivers and tight ends. In 2001, he was dismissed along with the entire coaching team, whereupon he took a break from his coaching career until 2003.
In 2003 Swinney moved to Clemson University’s Tigers where he worked as a full-time assistant trainer for Wide Receivers. He also served in equal parts as a recruitment coordinator and excelled in both roles.
In October 2008, Dabo Swinney assumed the position of the interim head football coach for the Clemson Tigers. After a successful tenure in this role, he was officially appointed head coach of the team on 1 December 2008.
During the 2009 season, he achieved several successes, including leading the Tigers to their first ACC Atlantic Division championship. His reputation as an excellent recruiter has continued to grow. In 2011 Coach Swinney received the “Bobby Dodd National Coach-of-the-Year” award.
Apart from having an eye for recruiting young talented players, he is also known for leading his team to success both on the field and in the classroom. As head coach of the Tigers, he steered the Tigers 2016 team to win the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, the first since 1981.
His Family, Wife, and Son
Dabo Swinney is married to Kathleen Swinney (née Bassett). The couple entered into the marriage in 1994.
The friendship between this couple goes back to their first class at Pelham High School. When they were old enough, they took their friendship to the next level. Just like her husband, Kathleen Swinney is a graduate of the University of Alabama. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education and then worked as a teacher at a school.
Kathleen Swinney is also very involved with the Clemson Tigers at the University of Alabama, which earned her the title of “First Lady of Clemson Football”. The couple was named honorary alumni of the University at 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 different schools.
Will Swinney is the oldest of the 3 Swinney sons. He was born in Clemson in 1998. He completed his high school education at Daniel High School and was a top receiver for his high school football team. In 2017, Will Swinney joined the Clemson University football team as an errand boy. Joining the Clemson Tigers is a dream come true for young Swinney, who has always been a big fan of the Tigers.
Dabo Swinney’s Salary and House
In 2014, Tiger’s head coach Dabo Swinney signed an 8-year contract worth an initial $27.15 million. Under this contract, he received the sum of 3.3 million dollars as his base salary in 2015. After the teams’ ACC title in 2015 and the selection of the college football playoffs, Swinney’s annual salary in 2016 was reviewed to a hefty $4.55 million and the total amount of the contract was raised to $31.75 million.
In 2017, Dabo Swinney was the second college football coach whose annual salary exceeded the $7 million mark. He received a total of $7.5 million – a base salary of $6 million and a signing bonus of $1.5 million. His new contract provides for an average salary of $6.75 million per year until 2024.
In October 2017 the man and his family moved into a new house in Clemson. The house is owned by the Swinney’s but was built with the intention that future Tigers coaches might find it convenient due to its proximity to the campus.
Described as a “castle”, the house is 15,000 square meters in size and has several master suites, several living rooms, and dozens of rooms. It also has all kinds of indoor and outdoor facilities, a theater room in the basement, a basketball court, a personal gym, and an outdoor pool.