Under Dabo Swinney, Tigers have put the roar back into Death Valley

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson Football -  Dalton Freeman

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson Football - Dalton Freeman

Home sweet home, or so they say.

When Dabo Swinney took over as Clemson's head coach midway through the 2008 season and lost his opening game to Georgia Tech at Death Valley, he identified a lapse in the Tigers' home field dominance as something that needed to change.

In rather dramatic fashion, Swinney has managed just that.

Since that initial loss to Georgia Tech on October 18, 2008, Swinney's teams are 22-3 at Memorial Stadium - an .880 winning percentage. His overall winning percentage at home is .846 - Clemson's best since Ken Hatfield went 22-3-1 (.865), which was the top home winning percentage by a Tiger head coach since Josh Cody went 13-0-1 (.964) between 1927 and 1930.

For comparison, Tommy Bowden had a 45-17 (.726) home record, Tommy West was 18-13 (.580), Danny Ford was 55-12-3 (.807), Charley Pell 9-2 (.818), Red Parker 12-9-1 (.568), Hootie Ingram 7-9 (.437), and Frank Howard 81-30-2 (.726).

The Tigers enter their game Saturday against Georgia Tech with a nine-game winning streak at Death Valley, and are closing in on the school record of 13, which was set during Cody's tenure. The 'modern' record is 11, which was set between 1989 and 1991.

Last season's 7-0 home record was Clemson's first unbeaten season at Death Valley since 1990.

Prior to last year, Clemson had lost two home games every season since 2004, with the exception of 2009, when the Tigers were 6-1 at home.

The improvement trend is a significant one for Dabo Swinney's program, and will next be put to the test in consecutive games against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

Winning at home is a foundation piece for any successful program.

And it's truly been home sweet home, so far so good, for the Tigers since Swinney took over as head coach.

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Comments » 1

MoncksTater writes:

Make that 10 straight at home .

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