I have made no bones over the past couple of years about my belief that Dabo Swinney is one of the most stubborn coaches in college football.
The 53-year-old does things his way. He does not care about being popular. Nor does he listen to the masses.
So when Clemson lost three games, again, in 2022 due in large part to another sputtering offense — inching further and further away from national prominence — I presumed we were all watching the beginning of the end of the Tigers. That Swinney’s pride would get in the way of making the types of changes that would get his program back on track.
I was wrong.
On Thursday afternoon, Swinney put on his big boy britches and made what had to have been one of the most gut-wrenching decisions of his career when he fired his longtime mentee Brandon Streeter from his job as Clemson’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Streeter had been the Tigers’ offensive coordinator for just one season. He had coached quarterbacks since December 2014.
And on Thursday night, Swinney put college football on notice when Garrett Riley landed in the upstate as Clemson’s next offensive coordinator. Riley comes from TCU, where he was a wizard with the Horned Frogs’ offense and schemed a team largely comprised of three-star recruits into a berth in the national title game. His contract — three years for $1.75 million per year, with a $300,000 signing bonus — was finalized Friday afternoon by Clemson’s Board of Trustees.