With the recent firing of head coach Bill O’Brien, the Houston Texans are on the lookout for a new leader. Romeo Crennel has taken over as the interim coach. But this hasn’t stopped rumors from swirling over who’ll get the job permanently. Dabo Swinney, head coach at Clemson, is one name that keeps appearing on the shortlist. But is the job something he’d be interested in?
Dabo Swinney’s football coaching career
Swinney was named Clemson’s interim football coach in 2008 after Tommy Bowden resigned six games into the season. Since then, he’s posted an impressive record with the Tigers — 134-31, two National Championships (2016, 2018), various Coach of the Year awards, and a reputation as a top-notch recruiter.
His coaching skills have kept Clemson atop the college football polls for years. Now, Swinney is the highest-paid coach in all the land. In 2019, he signed a 10 year, $93 million deal to stay with the Tigers. So while there’s chatter that he’s looking to join the NFL, he’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than the one he already has.
Swinney has a tight Texas connection
Before O’Brien even cleared out his office, Swinney’s name was linked to the Texans due to Deshaun Watson. Houston’s star quarterback played under Swinney at Clemson. While there, he passed for 10,168 yards and a 67.4 % completion rate. Watson led the Tigers to their second National Championship ever. He received the Offensive MVP award before entering the NFL draft where the Texans chose him in the first round.
And Watson had no bigger fan than Swinney. Before Watson was even drafted into the NFL, Swinney was the first to sing his praises. He compared Watson’s potential for greatness to Michael Jordan. Those are some big shoes to fill, but the Houston Texans agreed to draft him and have never looked back.
During a recent press conference for the Clemson-Miami game, Swinney was asked point-blank if he’d consider coaching the Texans. According to NBC Sports, an irritated Swinney responded, “I have not heard from Deshaun and that is not even anything that I want to even have to think about. You would be the one to ask that question out of all the questions. You don’t want to ask anything about Miami? Next question.”
But Swinney’s Texas connections don’t end there. He’s also reportedly close to Jack Easterby, the vice president of football operations, and one of the staff members choosing the next coach. Could this tight relationship convince Swinney to move to the NFL?
Is Dabo Swinney a good fit for the Houston Texans?
While Swinney has connections to Texas, it doesn’t necessarily mean a move would benefit him in any way. Considering he’s one of the highest-paid coaches in college football, the NFL would need to cough up some serious cash to get him to leave his cushy coaching position at Clemson.
Since 2008 when he took over the job, he’s turned the program around and made them a powerhouse year after year. The Houston Texans are currently in the midst of a crisis and may not have the support and backing Swinney would need to turn the team into a massive success.
Overall, it seems like the Texans would need a lot of incentives to get Swinney to consider a move. For now, his Clemson Tigers are rated as one of the top teams to win the National Championship, and Swinney doesn’t seem to be in any rush to leave them behind.