Clemson is set to play Alabama in the national championship game. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney deserves much of the credit for getting his team to college football’s championship game. So does his upbringing.
Swinney lived with his mother while attending and playing football at Alabama. It was out of necessity, according to Yahoo Sports writer Dan Wetzel. Both were homeless for much of Swinney’s senior year in high school, but they found solace together when Swinney went to Alabama. It was their way to escape from a father who Swinney described as an alcoholic, prone to domestic abuse.
“I come from the most screwed-up dysfunctional situation,” Swinney said. “You’ve got violence. Police at your house. Your dad’s gone. Nowhere to live.”
Swinney’s mother, Carol Swinney, remembered the college times fondly.
“I wouldn’t trade anything for it. I wouldn’t,” she said. “It was really some of the happiest times of my life because we were together, we were safe and we were happy.”
Whatever the past threw at him, things seems to have worked out for Swinney. His team beat Oklahoma 37-17 on Dec. 31 and will play Alabama for the national title on Jan. 11.