The night of Dec. 31, 2015 was probably the first time most people with a casual interest in college football had seen much of Dabo Swinney, and for the most part, America loved what it saw.

His program, the Clemson Tigers, was the new kid on the block and would soon play Alabama in a classic national championship game that foreshadowed a decade-defining rivalry. Swinney himself was a welcome fresh face for the sport. In a coaching profession that had become buttoned-up and corporate, Swinney was engaging, folksy and laid-back. Unlike many of his colleagues who treat media obligations like an imposition on their ability to watch the same game film for the 2,000th time that week, Swinney could turn any question into a soliloquy and a story.

The more Clemson won, the bigger Swinney got. And the bigger he got, the more we heard him talk. And talk. And talk. And talk, to the point where we have learned more about his worldview in the last five years than perhaps all of his Division I coaching colleagues combined.

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