Dabo Swinney: Head Coach & PR Practitioner?

January 25, 2009 at 6:08 am Leave a comment

The announcement that Dabo Swinney will be the Head Coach for the Clemson Tigers was a reason to celebrate! Clemson fans of all ages were overjoyed to hear the news, which was even reflected in many Clemson students Facebook statuses. It seems that everyone loves Dabo. In my opinion, he has engaged in a few very strategic public relations practices, which is one of the reasons he is so liked by those tied to Clemson. Perhaps not intentional, they did wonders for his image and support system.

After being named interim coach after Tommy Bowden stepped down, Dabo called for an “Orange Out” at the next home game and also planned an emergency Pep Rally in order to boost players’ spirits as well as engage Clemson fans. VERY smart move, in my opinion! He then created the “Tiger Walk”, which is when fans line the street to cheer on the Clemson players and coaches as they walk into the West End Zone a few hours prior to game time. This allows the public to engage with the players by allowing them to show their support and Clemson spirit. Also, a smart PR move that was very beneficial was when Dabo decided to surprise the football players with a surprise visit. Instead of having the much dreaded Wednesday football practice, Dabo had chartered buses waiting at the practice fields and informed the players they were going to visit the children’s ward in the Greenville Hospital instead of practice. This not only did wonders for the players’ morale, but also made the public that much more in love with Dabo Swinney.

Clemson Football Players showing their support for Head Coach, Dabo Swinney

Clemson Football Players showing their support for Head Coach, Dabo Swinney

So I ask the question… do others, besides me, think it is valid to consider Dabo Swinney the Head Coach of the Clemson Football Team, as well as a strategic PR practitioner? Perhaps he did not intentionally make these moves to gain “stakeholders” respect and portray a favorable image (PR mindset)- but perhaps his character and kind spirit guided his actions. Either way, the moves he engaged in would seem as if he had consulted a PR practitioner.


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