Video: Watch Dabo Swinney's locker room speech after winning division

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday November 21, 2016

Clemson’s last-second loss to Pitt put the ACC Atlantic in question again, and the Tigers had to go to 6-win Wake Forest to reach the ACC title game.

Clemson responded with a 35-13 win, and they’re going to Orlando in two weeks. How the Tigers came back from the loss is what Dabo Swinney wanted to see, and it was the message in his locker room speech after the win.

“Guys, life is about how you respond,” he said. “I don’t care what it is that happens. We talked about the opportunity we had as a football team tonight. ‘How are you going to pick yourself up? How are you going to respond?’ Let me tell you something, you guys set the tempo in that first half. I feel so proud of you. I knew you were going to play well, but watching you guys come together and respond like you did tonight, on the road, coming off a tough week, how you went back to work, that’s what it’s all about.

It ain’t about pouting. It ain’t about pointing fingers. It’s about getting better and taking ownership, and it’s about everybody doing what they gotta do. That little bit of extra, that’s what we did all week long. I’m proud of you guys.

“Division champs for the fifth time in eight years. We’re going to our fourth ACC championship game, with the opportunity to be back-to-back ACC champs for the first time in 28 years. That was one of the things we talked about at the beginning of the season. You guys have earned your way. Ain’t nobody giving you nothing. You’ve earned your way, and you put an exclamation point. You’ve been the best team all year, and you put an exclamation point on it tonight. I’m really proud of you, and I’m excited about (ACC associate commissioner) Michael Strickland being here with some hardware.”

After getting the trophy, Dabo yelled out, “We’re going to Disneyworld, boys!”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to