Swinney sees Radakovich as 'a great fit' to help carry on football's momentum

'There are going to be differences between Georgia Tech and Clemson, for sure. But there are also some similarities'

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney, right, welcomes Dan Radakovich as Clemson's new athletic director at a press conference on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 in Clemson, S.C. Radakovich, currently director of athletics at Georgia Tech, will replace Terry Don Phillips, who announced his retirement from Clemson in August.(AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney, right, welcomes Dan Radakovich as Clemson's new athletic director at a press conference on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 in Clemson, S.C. Radakovich, currently director of athletics at Georgia Tech, will replace Terry Don Phillips, who announced his retirement from Clemson in August.(AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

Like many of Clemson's coaches, Dabo Swinney sat in audience in the McFadden team room on Monday as Clemson president James Barker introduced Dan Radakovich as the Tigers' new athletic director and waited to be impressed.

He wasn't disappointed.

Swinney, a coach whose career will be forever linked with that of outgoing AD Terry Don Phillips, says he believes the Georgia Tech athletic director is "a great fit" for Clemson.

"I'm looking forward to having conversations and just developing a relationship," said Swinney. "I'm excited about change and getting a chance to move forward with Dan and getting to know him.

"He has a wealth of experience and has been at a lot of places and worked with a lot of great people. I think of this as a real positive."

Radakovich will inherit a football program already on a strong trajectory of improvement across a wide array of areas - on-field performance, recruiting, facilities, academic success, rules compliance and finances.

Swinney said that Radakovich will add his own strengths to the mix.

"I think there are a lot of positives he'll be able to carry with him," Swinney said. "I have a lot of respect for Georgia Tech and what they've been able to do through the years...

"I think the fact that he's been in the ACC is going to help him from a familiarity standpoint in getting things running here. Clemson is a unique place, and even if you've been here, it takes a little while to really navigate Clemson and get to know it. But his familiarity with this conference is definitely going to help."

Swinney said Radakovich will discover both differences and similarities between Georgia Tech and Clemson.

"I think Georgia Tech has a lot of pride in their program and their athletic facilities and in their academics," he said. "There are going to be differences between Georgia Tech and Clemson, for sure. But there are also some similarities. They've won national championships there and have been very successful in a lot of different sports, and they have a good background in raising revenue and all those types of things.

"And as he said, he's followed this program for a long time. I think he's a great fit."

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