Clemson beat Alabama in a whale of a National Championship on Monday night, claiming its second title in program history. It was the culmination of nearly a decade of elite program-building by Tigers coach Dabo Swinney. ESPN’s Sam Ponder tracked him down on the field minutes after the game. Their interview:
This sort of emotion is who Swinney is. He’s a coach who takes a selfie with the Playoff trophy before he actually wins it, puts a slide in the middle of his team’s facility, and speaks with unbridled enthusiasm any time he utters anything publicly at all.
A couple of moments later:
Swinney has rarely been rawer in public, and probably has never been happier in public, than he was after dethroning a dynasty team to win the biggest thing a college football coach can win.
“Our fans deserve this,” Swinney told the crowd at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa after he accepted the championship trophy. “Thirty-five years since Clemson’s been on top.”
It’s zero now. The Tigers are on top of the college football world, and Swinney’s forever going to be the man who brought them to the mountaintop.