By Mark Ellis —
He led his teams to capture national championships in 2016 and 2018 and is the second-most winning football coach in Clemson’s history. But when he was asked at a press conference about his personal faith, he jumped at the opportunity to respond.
“Man, that’s the easiest question I’ve had all day,” Swinney told the assembled reporters. He said he was raised in a Christian home but developed a personal relationship with Christ at 16.
“And that was a game-changer for me,” he said, “That’s really become the foundation of my life.”
Swinney continued, “It’s hard to survive and thrive in this world if you don’t have a spiritual foundation and have something that that you know will give you peace, because life is hard. And we’re all going to experience death and failure and setbacks and disappointments and cancer and, you know, it’s a really difficult world. And, for me, God has always–in my relationship with Christ–he’s given me hope and peace.”
Swinney said his life verse is Jeremiah 29:11, that it has been meaningful in his journey through life and even thought he has achieved a measure of success as a football coach, that “life hasn’t always been this way.”
“I’ve always used that as, 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. You know, to step through, to hang in there, to persevere, to continue to believe in something. And that’s what my relationship with Christ did for me. It gave me a hope and a belief—the ability to have a hope and a belief beyond my circumstances.”
Referring said his greatest achievement has not been on the football field, but watching his three sons begin to follow Jesus Christ.
“Trust me, the people that know me know I ain’t perfect, but I do try to live my life in a way, that hopefully, can be pleasing to my maker because I know I’m going to meet him one day. And he’s not going to pat me on the back, talking about how many wins I had, how many coach of the year trophies we got, or how much money I made.
“I really think he’s gonna hold me accountable to how I took advantage of the opportunity and the blessings that he gave me, the impact that I had on young people, the type of men that we develop through a game.”
To watch Coach Swinney’s full interview, click here