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The Clemson Tigers suffered their worst loss during head coach Dabo Swinney’s tenure last week, with the formerly ranked #4 team falling to unranked Notre Dame 35-14. Despite the loss, coach Swinney remained optimistic, saying at his weekly press conference, “I don’t grow weary, you know, I grow stronger.” He then referred to the Bible, saying, “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.” The head coach’s statement referred back to Christian singer Zach Williams’s “Old School Choir,” which states, “When the valleys, that I wander/ Turn to mountains that I can’t climb/ Oh, You are with me, never leave me… There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy.”

Rather than dwelling on the defeat, Swinney looked to the future, saying, “…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.” Swinney has led the team to two national titles in 2016 and 2018 since taking over the team as head coach in 2009. Swinney, a Christian, has often stressed an emphasis on soul-winning over game-winning. In an interview with “Faith on the Field,” Swinney said, “I try to be who I am and hopefully how I live my life can make an impact on [the players]. Hopefully I can at least live my life and go about my business and handle success and handle adversity in a way that’s positive for them. My job is to win games. We can win a million games but we got to impact their lives.”

During his conference, he emphasized recognizing that football will continue to have good days and bad days, saying, “We’ve had one undefeated team since I’ve been the head coach. That’s it. 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.” Clemson went on to beat the Louisville Cardinals 31-16 on Saturday and will play the Miami Hurricanes this weekend.

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