Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on Tuesday quoted the Bible and declared, "ain't nothing gonna steal my joy," three days after his team suffered one of the worst losses in his tenure.
The Tigers, ranked No. 4 at the time, fell to Notre Dame 35-14, likely ending their national title hopes, although they remain in the running for another conference championship. It was Clemson's worst loss to an unranked opponent since 2011, according to ESPN. The Tigers are 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the ACC.
"I don't grow weary, you know, I grow stronger," an upbeat and reflective Swinney said during his weekly news conference. "The Bible says that. Galatians 6:9 says, 'Do not grow weary from doing what is right and good for, at the appropriate time, you will reap a harvest of blessing if you don't give up.' That's the big thing. And I've lived that my whole life – I don't grow weary, I grow stronger. I'm excited about having a good Tuesday practice today and ain't nothing gonna steal my joy.
"And I'm gonna do everything I can to not let the joy be taken out of it for this football team. And if people can't get on board with that, then they're missing a lot of opportunity. If you're only going to be happy if we win the national championship, then you're gonna spend a lot of years down in the dumps in the gutter. They went 35 years without winning one here. You're missing out on a lot of fun, that's all I can tell you."
Clemson has won two national titles under Swinney in 2016 and 2018. Before that, its last national championship was in 1981. The Tigers also have seven conference championships during his tenure.
He bemoaned the negativity on social media.
"We've had one undefeated team since I've been the head coach. That's it," he said. "So I just think we're at a place now where you lose a game, and people lose their minds – just absolutely lose their minds, and they lose all their joy. And they hate everybody, and you need to fire everybody, and you need to get rid of every player. And it's such a negative thing that's been created with this world of social media. And it's sad. And I don't buy into that."
He is determined, he said, to help his players maintain a positive attitude.
"The main thing is just not growing weary [and to] just keep growing stronger," he said. "And if you do that, we're gonna have a lot more good days than bad days.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.