Professional and collegiate sports have ground to a halt because of the coronavirus outbreak. One prominent coach, however, believes that God will be glorified during the pandemic and that college football will be played this fall. Dabo Swinney, head coach at Clemson University and an outspoken Christian, shared his insights last week on ESPN.
“I just have always lived my life with optimism,” he said. “I think that God is bigger than this [pandemic]. I think he’s going be glorified and shine through this in a mighty way. He has the ability to stamp this thing out as quick as it rose up. If it doesn’t work out that way, then you adjust. But my plan is to get back at it and hope for the best.”
Swinney said faith drives his optimism.
“The reason I have that optimism is because of 50 years of life and because of my faith in Jesus,” Swinney said. “Over 2,000 years ago this weekend, the world was in a crisis. And I’m sure a lot of smart people didn’t think that Jesus could come back to life. But he did. And this Sunday, we’re going to celebrate that.”
Swinney acknowledged the decision to have a football season is out of his hands.
“At the end of the day, the leaders of the universities –- the presidents, the commissioners, the medical experts –- they’re ultimately going to make a decision on if we play, when we play, when we start,” he said. “My job is to have my team ready. My mindset is to make sure that I have the best-case scenario and am ready to go, and we’ll adjust from there. But my optimism is simply from nothing else other than my faith.”
Swinney’s Tigers previously won championships in 2016 and 2018, but lost to LSU in last season’s national title game. After that game Swinney expressed how grateful he was.
“I’m thankful for our team. I’m thankful for God’s grace, for allowing me to be part of such a special group of people, coaches, staff and players, and just an unreal year. I mean, incredible. It’s just an incredible year, two years. Won 29 games in a row. It’s been a long time since I’ve stood in front of a team with a loss.”
Character is something Swinney looks for in the players he brings into his program, and Swinney’s character is something many recruits are drawn to in choosing Clemson.
Speaking to reporters in 2018, Swinney opened up about his faith, telling journalists he became a Christian when he was 16 years old.
-Alan Goforth | Metro Voice