Dabo’s World: The Life and Career of Coach Swinney and the Rise of Clemson Football

Grand Central. Oct. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9781538753439. $28. SPORTS
Anderson has written several books on college and pro football, including two on Alabama coach Nick Saban. In his latest, he focuses on another successful college coach: Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, who he says is one of the most unlikely people to thrive as a college football coach. Swinney was a walk-on player at Alabama, then worked as an unheralded position coach at Clemson until he was promoted to interim coach during a down season; he took that opportunity to demonstrate how hard he was willing to work, Anderson says, and was made Clemson’s permanent coach in 2009. Swinney has since rebuilt the program and led Clemson to 10 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins and eight trips (six consecutively) to the College Football Playoff, while going 2–2 in national championship games. Anderson tells the story of the garrulous, religious coach who built and maintains a program that has rivalled Alabama in the last decade, the greatest period in mid-sized Clemson’s history.
VERDICT This book is engagingly written but it mostly updates a story that has been told in volumes by local journalists in recent years. Still, it will be of interest to Clemson fans.
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