Let me start by saying this is really, REALLY, cool.
Tiger Illustrated put together a Decade of Dabo: Part One video that I just came across that features the Clemson head coach giving a play-by-play account of what happened the day that Tommy Bowden resigned after six games and athletic director Terry Don Phillips came into a staff meeting with Bowden, announced the news very matter-of-factly, and named Swinney the interim head coach moving forward.
While walking through the facility and showing the offices that many of these conversations took place in, Dabo lays out what was going through his head throughout that process, how he went from panicked to confident in the matter of just a few conversations, and what transpired in the hours and days after being named Clemson’s head coach.
The perspective and human element that Dabo brings to the telling of the story is really fascinating because he lays everything out on the table, from his doubts, to the tough and very frank conversations he had to have with his fellow coaches he was now charged with leading, to the calls he made home to his wife as everything unfolded. Truly some great stories.
…and as good as all of that is, the real gem of this whole video is story where Dabo’s doubts, and his faith intersect in a truly defining moment for him.
At the 17:20 mark of the video, Dabo tells a story while walking out into a parking lot about pulling into that dark lot as the new interim head coach of the program and feeling overwhelmed with all the new responsibility on his shoulders. Then he shares the defining moment he can only describe as God winked at him.
“I always tell people, I think God winks at ya sometimes. It was definitely a moment in my life where God just kind of put his arms around me and said ‘Hey, look. I’ve got you right where I want you. Don’t have any fear. Don’t have any doubt. You’re prepared for this. But more importantly, I’ve got your back.'”
“It was just this moment of peace, because I pull in and as I pull in my lights hit this curb…and I will never forget it. I put the brakes on and I had been praying and I take a deep breath as I come in for another day, and I just stopped,” Dabo shared, staring at the curb.
“Then I just started crying.”
The reason why? The parking number designated to that spot Dabo was pulling into was #88 – Dabo’s number while a wide receiver at Alabama. To him, a man of great faith, that was God winking at him loud and clear.
That’s pretty incredible.
“I literally started crying right there and I just said “God, I appreciate ya, and thanks you so much. And I just had this moment of pure emotion, and from that point forward I just had total peace. I didn’t know how it was going to work out, but I really didn’t care anymore because I knew…I KNEW, that God was ordering my steps. Some people say that may sound crazy, or that may sound corny, but if you’re really a person of faith and you are seeking God’s direction, He will give you those ‘God winks.'”
“Maybe it’s a person. Maybe it’s a number on a curb. Maybe it’s a sign. Maybe it’s a person that he puts into your path. Maybe it’s something that somebody says, but if you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, that’s how he communicates with you.”
Really good stuff from the Tiger Illustrated team, and really looking forward to what future episodes of Decade of Dabo may bring. Not sure how I didn’t see this before, but really glad I have now.