If you were to encounter our little family in ‘real-life’, you’d have little doubt as to where we went to college for undergrad. Our cars have Clemson University decals, including tiger paws – both white and orange. Our home has various photos, pieces of art, and other decor related to the school nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our Clemson paw garden flag has flown outside of the 10 homes we’ve lived in together over the past 14 years and our wardrobe certainly doesn’t lack Clemson gear. It’s no secret – we love Clemson University.
Last night, Clay and I watched Clemson beat Alabama in the 2019 College Football Championship game. Clay is TDY so we chatted on the phone and shared celebratory drinks at midnight as Clemson’s head coach, Dabo Swinney, spoke on the field after Clemson’s epic performance – “When you get a young group of people that believe, are passionate, they love each other, they sacrifice, they’re committed to a single purpose, you better look out. Great things can happen and that’s what you saw tonight.“
For those unfamiliar with Dabo Swinney, he took over as Clemson’s head coach mid-season in 2008 (a handful of years after we graduated). His life was difficult at times growing up and his playing and coaching years are filled with stories about him being the scrappy underdog and overcoming adversity. Dabo is known for molding Clemson’s football program into what it is today and for his post-game on-the-field interviews that are dripping with emotion and full of motivational sound bites.
He is also known for his locker room dancing.
But for as much as I love watching Clemson football, the thing I love most about my school is the ClemsonLIFE program. In fact, Dabo Swinney’s All In Team Foundation helps support the ClemsonLIFE Program, which is designed for students with intellectual disabilities who desire a postsecondary experience on a college campus. And after seeing that video, how can you not love the guy? After all, “the only disability in life is a bad attitude.“
So in honor of the new year and Clemson’s big win, I thought I’d compile some of Dabo’s best quotes. Perhaps they may inspire you to accomplish your biggest goals of 2019. Or maybe they will dare you to dream bigger. At the very least, they should at least put a smile on your face.
“Let the light that shines in you be brighter than the light that shines on you.”
“To be an overachiever, you have to be an over-believer.”
“Don’t let anyone walk through your mind with dirty feet.”
“B.Y.O.G.” (Bring your own guts.)
“It’s only unthinkable if you don’t think it.”
“Think about your dream. Then, put your head down and go to work.”