Money is no object to the Texas A&M Athletic Department. The Aggies proved that when they hired Jimbo Fisher away from Florida State, and they further proved that by giving the embattled head coach a record buyout to go away.
So we could expect Texas A&M to swing for the fences in search of its next head coach, right? In the meantime, Elijah Robinson — who got his start under Matt Rhule at Temple University — is serving as the program’s interim head coach. Still, that hasn’t stopped many from throwing potential names out there as candidates.
As recently as Monday, ESPN’s Paul Finebaum suggested that Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney could leave Upstate South Carolina for College Station.
Swinney has had his feet held to the fire as Clemson (6-4, 3-4 Atlantic Coastal Conference) has dropped more than three games in a season for the first time in more than a decade. Prior to the Tigers clinching back-to-back wins over Notre Dame and Georgia Tech in consecutive weeks, Swinney went scorched earth on a Clemson fan — Tyler in Spartanburg — during his weekly radio call-in show at the end of last month.
Here’s an excerpt from that rant via the Greenville News:
“So to answer your question, I started as the lowest-paid coach in this frickin’ business, and I’m where I am because I’ve worked my [butt] off every single day. And I ain’t gonna let some smart*** kid get on this phone and create this stuff. So if you’ve got a problem with it, I don’t care. I work for the board of trustees, the president, and the AD, and if they’re tired of me leading this program, all they’ve got to do is let me know. I’ll go somewhere else where there is an appreciation. It’s not just winning. It’s how you win. And this is a tough year, but we’ve had 12 10-plus win seasons in a row. Twelve.”
No one in Clemson is tired of Swinney leading the team’s football program, but saying “I’ll go somewhere else where this is an appreciation,” certainly raised some eyebrows at the time, and even more so on Tuesday. Clemson’s head coach, who has been on staff since 2003 and the head coach of the program since 2008, was asked by Chapel Fowler of The State if he would have any interest in the Texas A&M opening.
“I’m just focused on this job … Always have been. Just trying to beat North Carolina,” Swinney said. “It must be November — that’s all I can say.”
Asked Dabo Swinney if he had any interest in the Texas A&M job opening: "I'm just focused on this job … Always have been. Just trying to beat North Carolina. It must be November — that's all I can say"
— Chapel Fowler (@chapelfowler) November 14, 2023
This isn’t the first time Swinney has been asked about his interest in another opening, and it certainly won’t be the last. That being said, his answer is interesting considering the circumstances, though it seems extremely unlikely that we’ll be seeing Swinney leave Clemson soon, if at all.