He coached against Dabo Swinney and Clemson in many Palmetto Bowl contests, so the admiration was already there.
But with Clemson returning to the College Football Playoff to defend their national title, the Old Ball Coach has Dabo on the brain.
To former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, it’s undeniable: no one has done a better job in the last half decade or so than Swinney and his staff.
“I think Dabo and his staff have done the best job of any coaching staff in America the last five, six years,” Spurrier said to The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna.
Swinney and Spurrier squared off seven times from 2008-14. South Carolina won five in a row from 2009-13, bookmarked by Clemson victories in 2008 and 2014.
That Clemson victory in 2014 kickstarted what’s now a four-game winning streak over South Carolina in the series.
Swinney has guided Clemson to a national title in 2016, a runner-up national title finish in 2015 and four ACC titles while posting a 101-29 record in 10 seasons at the helm.
Spurrier amassed a 228-89-2 overall record as the head coach at Duke, Florida and South Carolina. Spurrier, who won six SEC titles and an ACC title, led the Gators to the 1996 national championship.
Clemson will face Alabama on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl for a CFP semifinal matchup.