After a historic victory against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers coach Dabo Swinney made sure to keep his focus on God during an inspirational interview that was praised widely.
'All the glory, goes to the good Lord!'
"Dabo, there are few coaches in any sport who show more joy than you do," asked ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi. "How do you describe the joy of the moment?"
"Well that's been my word all year, and I tried to be intentional with that, for me personally, joy comes from focusing on Jesus, others and yourself," Swinney responded with a wide grin.
"There's so many great coaches that are so deserving of a moment like this that never get the chance to experience it, and to do it once and now to get to do it again," he added, "it's a blessing, and it's just simply the grace of the good Lord to let us experience something like this!
"All the credit, all the glory, goes to the good Lord!" Swinney exclaimed.
"And number two, to these young people," he continued. "When you get a young group of people that believe, are passionate, they love each other, they sacrifice, they're committed to a singleness of purpose, you better look out, great things can happen, and that's what you saw tonight!"
'Only God can orchestrate this!'
"Hey listen I hope you get a little hope from us a little inspiration that, hey, if we can do it, anybody can do it!" Swinney said.
"I said this two years ago, I mean, you can't write a Hollywood script like this, only God can do this! And that's a fact!" he continued. "And people may think I'm crazy or quacky whatever, only God can orchestrate this, no Hollywood producer can write it!"
Swinney made a quick reference to his improbable rise to success from poverty and disadvantage, as explained by David French in National Review:
His story truly is amazing. The product of a broken home and an alcoholic father, he was a teenager when his family lost their house to foreclosure. Swinney spent his senior year in high school moving from place to place. During his freshman year at Alabama (yes, he's playing his alma mater), his mother came with him to campus. She had nowhere else to go. So at an age when most young men are enjoying the time of their lives, Swinney was rooming with his mom, sharing a bedroom in a tiny apartment with another student.
Swinney was later accused by the anti-religious organization, Freedom From Religion Foundation, of improperly imposing his Christian beliefs on his players as a coach, which he denied. But he also made clear that he was not going to shy away from expressing his faith publicly.
"Recruiting is very personal," Swinney explained. "Recruits and their families want — and deserve — to know who you are as a person, not just what kind of coach you are. I try to be a good example to others, and I work hard to live my life according to my faith."
Swinney did not back down and Clemson University stood by him.
"We weren't doing anything [wrong]. Ain't nothing to change," he said. "People have just got to be who they are, it's that simple. We've never tried to force anything on anybody. Everybody who comes here to Clemson knows who we are as people. There's no surprises in that regard."
Here's the video of Swinney's inspirational speech:
Swinney's speech was praised by many on social media, including NBA legend Magic Johnson.
"I love Coach Swinney's interview on ESPN giving glory to God and crediting his players," Johnson tweeted. "That was beautiful."
Clemson routed Alabama 44-16 to become the first team in NCAA history to earn a 15-0 season record since 1897.