Dabo Swinney shouts out Terry Don Phillips in interview
Dabo Swinney gave a shoutout to a man named Terry Don Phillips during his postgame interview on the field after winning the national championship with Clemson 35-31 over Alabama on Monday night.
“And I know Terry Don Phillips is sitting at home. Terry Don, I’m not here without you, brother. Appreciate you,” an emotional Swinney said on ESPN. “I love all the people who couldn’t come here tonight because tickets were too much. They saw a heck of a game at home. I’m just thankful.”
Terry Don Phillips gets a shout from Dabo https://t.co/dfIohrRQF7
— Jeremie Poplin (@jeremiepoplin) January 10, 2017
So right about now you’re probably wondering who Terry Don Phillips is. Well Terry Don Phillips was Clemson’s athletic director from 2002-2012, and he is the man responsible for making Swinney Clemson’s head coach.
Phillips fired Tommy Bowden during the 2008 season and named Swinney the interim head coach despite Swinney not even having coordinator experience. When Swinney went 4-3 the rest of the way, Phillips was convinced he should retain the man as head coach.
“After going through a strong national search and seeing how the kids continued to react to his leadership and the type of person he is, it was a gut call,” Phillips said in a story for The Oklahoman. “I just believed strongly that he had the personal attributes to be a good head coach. And it all starts with how he handles the kids.”
Phillips saw something special in Swinney, and his faith in the young coach paid off. Swinney has made Clemson one of the premier programs in college football and delivered them a national championship.