Today Coach Dabo Swinney and the national champion Clemson Tigers visited The White House, and President Trump said a lot of nice words about the team, individual players, Clemson’s president James Clements, and head coach Dabo Swinney. But it was Coach Swinney’s heart-felt speech that made me proud to be a graduate; if I had a son who was competitive as a D1 player, I’d want him to play for Dabo.
Coach Swinney’s speech was so positive and affirming, I took time to listen to it seventy-eleven times so I could transcribe it in its entirety. I’m pretty sure at this point I could give it myself.
If you take a few minutes to read it (or click the video below to watch and listen), you’ll understand why I’m not just a Clemson fan, but also a Dabo Swinney fan. Even if you can’t stand Clemson (haters gonna hate), it’s hard to argue with Dabo’s results.
Thanks to The White House for broadcasting this moment for all Tigers fans to enjoy, and to the ACC Digital Network for posting it on You Tube.
Alright, I appreciate it. Uh, thank you so much, what a, what a special and unique opportunity this is to stand here and look at the Washington Monument and have a chance to also see this trophy, and have the opportunity to speak to all of you today.
It’s such an honor to be a part of such a special tradition, a special and unique tradition, where the White House and the President honor the champions. And that’s exactly what these guys are. They’re the champions. Lets give ’em a hand.
I really thought we were going to be here last year, I really did, but we came up a little short and I am so, so thankful and glad, that my players and my staff has had the opportunity to experience what I got a chance to experience as a player as a part of the Alabama National Championship team in 1992. I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to tour the White House and see all the great history and to just experience this great day. So thank you so much.
I appreciate everyone involved. I know there’s a lot of logistics to make something like this happen. From the Secret Service to all of our folks at Clemson, to all the WH staff and what a special, special day it’s been. So thank you so much for the opportunity.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians, “in a race everybody runs, but only one wins first prize. So run your race in such a way as to win.”
And that’s exactly what this team did. And that’s exactly what this team epitomized.
They did that with great leadership, belief, accountability, heart, genuine love and appreciation for one another, and they did it with great chemistry.
This was a team that bought in to one of our core values. I believe it was George Washington Carver who said, “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”
And eight-plus years ago I had a group of young men come together that bought into that very core value; it’s not the big things it’s the little things, we’re going to do the common things in an uncommon way. And when we do that, we will command the attention of the world.
And this group of young men behind me, that’s exactly what they did.
Yeah, we got good players and good coaches, but they did the little things better than everyone else. And to stand here and have the opportunity like we had today is a great credit to this team and what they did starting last year.
So it’s great to be back together and getting the chance to reminisce with some of these guys that I haven’t seen for a little while. I appreciate Mr. McNair for getting a couple of our players here. But it’s great to be back together one more time.
And I just, I wanna make a message really to our players. Because this is, this is a special moment. Ya know, back in January, that was an incredible moment. What a moment, January 9th, into the 10th actually, what an incredible moment that was.
And then I had a chance to see a lot of these guys put those caps and gowns on and become graduates of Clemson University. What a special moment.
Some of ’em have already taken jobs, getting their first paycheck. Special moment.
Some of these guys have signed with NFL teams. What a special moment.
Being here at the White House as the nation’s champion? What a special moment.
But I want you players to know that there’s going to be other special moments. There’s going to be other special moments–when you get married, when you become a father, when you buy that first house. There’s going to be other special moments.
Ten years from now we’re going to have a special moment when we have a reunion. Some of you are going to be bald, some of you are going to have big bellies. But it’s goin’ be a special moment when we get back together.
But I want you all to know, all you players, and really everyone, life is not about those moments. Life is truly about how we live between the moments. That’s really what it comes down to. It’s all about how we live between the moment. It’s just doing the little things in a great way. It’s the daily focus and purpose and commitment and attitude that you choose to embrace every single day between those moments.
That’s what we’re all going to be defined by.
So I challenge you players and our team as we come together one last time, I challenge y’all, as we all move on with our lives to take those core values that we have at Clemson, take ’em with you. Take ’em with you. Continue to do the common things in your life in an uncommon way. Continue to be All In, continue to apply Best as the standard in everything you do.
Be a person of excellence in everything you do. As a worker, as a husband, as a father. Every thing that you choose to do, put your heart into it. If you don’t take anything else from this past year’s season, you saw what can happen when you see a group of people come together and really put their heart into something.
When you put your heart into something, you can make up that little extra, that little extra, because you go a little bit above and beyond, and that’s what this team has done.
So, my prayer is that you guys will take this with you.
And most of all, that you keep that windshield mentality that you’ve seen every single day that you’ve been at Clemson. I hope you’ll take that windshield mentality with you ’cause no matter what’s behind us, good or bad, in the rearview mirror, it’s always about what’s next. It’s always about what’s next, and the best truly is yet to come.
And the last thing I want to say is I love all of you.
It’s something that we dreamed about, this is something that we all dreamed about. But we all understand that the goals that we’ve had, they pale in comparison to the daily commitment that it took to get here.
So I hope that y’all will take this with you.
And President Trump, I want to thank you for giving us this special time. I know you’re a busy man. Thank you for giving us this special time, and this opportunity for us to come together as a team and celebrate an incredible moment in all of our lives; something we’ll take with us for the rest of our lives.
And we are truly excited about having a great day in Washington, DC. The food was excellent. We’re gonna head over to the Capital here in a little bit. I’m sure there’s plenty of orange over there. Look forward to just hanging out here in DC for a while and then getting back to business tomorrow. So Thank you President Trump, I know it is your birthday on Wednesday, so happy early birthday to you.
So on behalf of our team, on behalf of our staff, our board, President Clements and our AD Dan Radakovich, I want to present to you a jersey from the National Champions, a jersey to you and your son, Barron, as well. So I’ll hand that off to you here.