Dabo Swinney, head coach of the top-ranked Clemson Tigers, has been named the Walter Camp 2015 Coach of the Year. The Walter Camp Coach of the Year is selected by the nation’s 129 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors.
Swinney is the first Clemson coach to receive the honor. Under Swinney’s direction, Clemson recorded a perfect 13-0 record and the No. 1 national ranking in the College Football Playoff poll. With Swinney at the helm, the Tigers recorded wins against three Top 10 teams (Notre Dame, Florida State and North Carolina) in 2015, and posted nine straight games with at least 500 yards of total offense.
The Tigers, behind quarterback and Walter Camp Player of the Year finalist Deshaun Watson (279 passing yards, 131 rushing), captured the Atlantic Coast Conference championship with a 45-37 victory over North Carolina on December 5.
Clemson will face No. 4 Oklahoma in a College Football Playoff Semifinal in Miami, Fla. on Dec. 31 at 4 p.m.
A native of Pelham, AL, Swinney attended the University of Alabama where he was a walk-on wide receiver who went on to earn a scholarship. He played on the Crimson Tide’s 1992 National Championship squad.
He served as an assistant coach at Alabama from 1993 to 2000 and was hired at Clemson in 2003 as recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach. He was named interim head coach in 2008, and led the Tigers to a 4-2 record and a Gator Bowl berth. He was then named permanent head coach on December 1, 2008. In that time, Swinney has recorded an impressive 74-26 career coaching record (.740), including double-digit victories in each of the last four seasons.
Coach Swinney, along with members of the 2015 Walter Camp All-America team, will be honored at the organization’s national awards banquet, presented by First Niagara Bank, on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven. In addition, the Foundation will recognize three individuals – Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver (Distinguished American), former Florida State and Oakland Raider standout wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff (Man of the Year) and former Grambling State All-American and NFL quarterback Doug Williams (Alumnus of the Year) – with major awards.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients.
Walter Camp Coaches of the Year
2015 – Dabo Swinney, Clemson
2014 – Gary Patterson, TCU
2013 – David Cutcliffe, Duke
2012 – Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
2011 – Les Miles, LSU
2010 – Chip Kelly, Oregon
2009 – Gary Patterson, TCU
2008 – Nick Saban, Alabama
2007 – Mark Mangino, Kansas
2006 – Greg Schiano, Rutgers
2005 – Joe Paterno, Penn State
2004 – Tommy Tuberville, Auburn
2003 – Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
2002 – Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
2001 – Ralph Friedgen, Maryland
2000 – Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
1999 – Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
1998 – Bill Synder, Kansas State
1997 – Lloyd Carr, Michigan
1996 – Bruce Snyder, Arizona State
1995 – Gary Barnett, Northwestern
1994 – Joe Paterno, Penn State
1993 – Terry Bowden, Auburn
1992 – Gene Stallings, Alabama
1991 – Bobby Bowden, Florida State
1990 – Bobby Ross, Georgia Tech
1989 – Bill McCartney, Colorado
1988 – Don Nehlen, West Virginia
1987 – Dick MacPherson, Syracuse
1986 – Jimmy Johnson, Miami
1985 – Fisher DeBerry, Air Force
1984 – Joe Morrison, South Carolina
1983 – Mike White, Illinois
1982 – Jerry Stovall, Louisiana State
1981 – Jackie Sherrill, Pittsburgh
1980 – Vince Dooley, Georgia
1979 – John Mackovic, Wake Forest
1978 – Warren Powers, Missouri
1977 – Lou Holtz, Arkansas
1976 – Frank R. Burns, Rutgers
1975 – Frank Kush, Arizona State
1974 – Barry Switzer, Oklahoma
1973 – Johnny Majors, Pittsburgh
1972 – Joe Paterno, Penn State
1971 – Bob Devaney, Nebraska
1970 – Bob Blackman, Dartmouth
1969 – Bo Schembechler, Michigan
1968 – Woody Hayes, Ohio State
1967 – John Pont, Indiana