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Dabo Sweeney close to deal with Clemson.


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CLEMSON – The interim tag has all but been removed from Dabo Swinney's job title.

Sources said Sunday evening that Swinney and athletics director Terry Don Phillips are finalizing the terms of a contract that still needs to be drawn up and signed.

But Swinney's hiring is expected to become official as early as late Monday, sources said.

A day after Clemson became bowl-eligible by closing the regular season with a 31-14 trouncing of rival South Carolina, Swinney and Phillips met extensively Sunday afternoon and into the evening.

Phillips and senior associate athletics director Bill D'Andrea spent at least an hour going over details with Swinney's agent, Mike Brown.

Phillips has followed through on his stated objective to conduct a national search for Tommy Bowden's replacement. A source said Phillips was done interviewing outside candidates after Saturday's victory.

The 39-year-old Swinney took over as interim coach on Oct. 13 after Bowden resigned under pressure halfway into his 10th season with the Tigers. Clemson (7-5) went 4-2 under Swinney and won four of its last five games, including road victories at Boston College and Virginia, to become bowl-eligible for the 10th consecutive season.

Phillips and Swinney met Sunday afternoon and then spoke again in the evening. Quarterbacks coach Billy Napier also met with Swinney on Sunday evening and is expected to be retained. No Clemson staffers had taken to the road for recruiting Sunday night.

The confirmed candidates who interviewed for the position are former Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, and Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley.

Phillips also planned to interview Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, but we have not been able to document where and when that meeting took place.

Multiple news outlets reported that Phillips traveled to Fort Worth, Texas on the weekend of Nov 21 to interview Calhoun and TCU coach Gary Patterson, but a source said those reports were inaccurate.

Swinney spent 5½ seasons as the Tigers' receivers coach before he was promoted to interim head coach upon Bowden's departure.

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Not thrilled about this, but the team did develop a toughness under Dabo it rarely ever had under Bowden. Plus, Napier and Swinney got Spiller the ball more in the open field in a few games than Spence would do in a season and let Davis focus on running inside. They also let Harper throw the ball more than 6 yards, and he did look solid late in the season.

I'm afraid his lack of contacts (only been at Bama and Clemson) might hurt him bringing in an excellent staff, but it looks like his salary will be on the low side and he's an excellent salesman. He should be able to sell some assistants like he does recruits.

Despite Bowden never winning any kind of championships, there is no doubt he left the program quite a bit better than he inherited it.

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Not thrilled about this, but the team did develop a toughness under Dabo it rarely ever had under Bowden. Plus, Napier and Swinney got Spiller the ball more in the open field in a few games than Spence would do in a season and let Davis focus on running inside. They also let Harper throw the ball more than 6 yards, and he did look solid late in the season.

I'm afraid his lack of contacts (only been at Bama and Clemson) might hurt him bringing in an excellent staff, but it looks like his salary will be on the low side and he's an excellent salesman. He should be able to sell some assistants like he does recruits.

Despite Bowden never winning any kind of championships, there is no doubt he left the program quite a bit better than he inherited it.

it was a great choice to keep some of your top guys committed to clemson and he is a very good recruiter.. he has fire, but to me this screams bill stewart and wvu.

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VT keeps Foster. Thank you! BTW, clemumo82, who did you want Clemson to hire? You guys seemed to play well the last few weeks and completely torched South Carolina. It seems to me that it was a good move for you guys.

Bill Stewart seemed like a good hire after beating Oklahoma also but looked bad when they lost to ECU. <_<<_<

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Bill Stewart seemed like a good hire after beating Oklahoma also but looked bad when they lost to ECU. <_<<_<

Yeah, there are parallels between Dabo and Bill Stewart, but Dabo got a half of a season to prove himself before being hired. Plus, Bill Stewart inherited a NC caliber program and went 7-4 so far this season.

Bill Stewart is an older, more laid back type of coach, and that is the opposite of Dabo.

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