Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has been named the winner of the Bobby Dodd Awardas the FBS national coach of the year. Swinney is the first Clemson football coach to win a national coach of the year honor since Danny Ford in 1981. Ford coached Clemson to the national championship during that 1981 season with a 12-0 record, including a 22-15 win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Swinney will coach the Tigers in the Discover Orange Bowl on Wednesday night. It is Clemson’s first visit to the Orange Bowl since that game at the conclusion of the 1981 season.
“This is a great honor,” Swinney said in a prepared statement. “I accept this award on behalf of our players, coaches and everyone affiliated with our program at Clemson. I am proud of what we have accomplished this year and we hope to add to that this week.
“It is an honor to win an award named after the legendary Bobby Dodd, who did so much for college football. I am humbled to be the recipient of this award.”
Swinney is the first Clemson coach in any sport to win a national coach of the year honor since Larry Penley was the unanimous national coach of the year of college golf in 2003 when the Tigers golfers won the national championship.
This season Swinney has coached Clemson to its first ACC Championship in 20 years, its first 10-win season in 21 years, and its first bid to the Orange Bowl since 1981. The Tigers have a 10-3 record entering Wednesday’s Discover Orange Bowl game against West Virginia.