In a recent press conference with Clemson Tigers head football coach Dabo Swinney, a journalist asked him a question about his faith.
“When you hoist a trophy, you spend time talking about God and faith. Can you speak about that a little bit more? ‘Cause it’s impressive that’s where you are right after hoisting a trophy.”
Swinney’s answer was pretty amazing:
“That’s the easiest question I’ve had all day,” the coach responded. “To me, its just the priorities of my life. I made a decision when I was 16. I grew up in a family where I was taught there was a God, but I didn’t really have a relationship with Christ until I was 16. That was a game-changer for me, it has really become a foundation in my life.”
That would have been enough to answer the reporter’s question, but the National Championship winner wasn’t done yet. He continued to speak candidly about the “hope and peace” that Jesus has given him through all the trials and tribulations of this life.
“It’s hard to survive and thrive in this world if you don’t have a spiritual foundation and something that will give you peace,” Swinney explained. “‘Cause life is hard. And we’re all gonna experience death, failure, setbacks, disappointment, cancer — it’s a really difficult world. For me, my relationship with Christ has given me hope and peace.”
Sweeney then quoted Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“I’ve applied that to my life along my journey,” Swinney explained. “To me, if there’s really hope in the future, then there’s power in the present to deal with whatever mess you’re dealing with in your life.”
“That’s what my relationship with Christ did for me,” he said. “It gave me the ability to have a hope and a belief beyond my circumstances.”
The highly successful coach also revealed that it was his “greatest accomplishment” to see his three sons come to know Jesus Christ.
“Those are personal decisions that people have to make,” he said. “It’s just how I choose to live my life.”
“People that know me know I ain’t perfect, but I do try to live in a way that is hopefully pleasing to my maker,” he added. “Because I know I’m gonna meet him one day and he’s not gonna pat me on the back and talk about how many wins I had, how many coach of the year trophies I got or how much money I made. He’s gonna hold me accountable about the impact I had on young people, the type of men we develop through a game.”
“Appreciate you asking that question,” Swinney laughed after his epic answer. “Didn’t expect that one!”