Clemson Football Head Coach Dabo Swinney was named to the 2020 Dodd Trophy preseason watch list last week as Swinney gears up for his 11th season as the Tigers’ head coach.
The Dodd Trophy, which is sponsored by The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and presented by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, selected 13 head coaches from the teams that are still scheduled to play a fall season for its preseason watch list.
Swinney, a former winner of the award in 2011, headlines a number of top college football head coaches who were named to the list, including Alabama’s Nick Saban, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, Georgia’s Kirby Smart and LSU’s Ed Orgeron. Swinney and Saban, along with Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly and North Carolina Head Coach Mack Brown, are the only former winners listed on the preseason watch list, while both Swinney and Orgeron are the only finalists from last season to make the preseason watch list this year.
Swinney has consistently appeared on several coaching award lists over his career at Clemson, and 2020 will be no different. The former Alabama walk-on already has an impressive resumé when it comes to coaching awards, including the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award (2015, 2016, 2018), the Walter Camp Coach of the Year (2015) and the AP College Football Coach of the Year (2015). Swinney is also a two-time winner of the ACC Coach of the Year award. Overall, Swinney has accumulated 11 head coaching awards since taking over full-time in 2009.
All of the recognition will matter little to Swinney unless his team makes it back to the College Football Playoff and the national title game, a goal his program subtly sets year in and year out. Swinney’s always been a player-focused coach who looks to build a successful program while equipping his players for post-football life. His accolades and success as a head coach validate that his method works.
Given the Tigers’ devastating 42-25 loss to LSU in last season’s national title game, expect to see an energized Swinney leading his team back into the college football spotlight this season.