Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney didn’t know his real name until 3rd grade

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney celebrates after winning the Orange Bowl.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In this past season, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has become quite the household name.

Not that he wasn’t all that unrecognized before, but with Clemson running 14-0 with an ACC championship, claiming the No. 1 spot in the major polls and College Football Playoff and dismantling Big 12 champion Oklahoma to advance to next week’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Alabama, more and more people are starting to get to know the name Dabo Swinney.

His real name is William, but you can hardly be blamed for not knowing that. Heck, Dabo didn’t even know it until he got to third grade.

If you are wondering why Swinney goes by Dabo instead of Will or Bill, you can go back to when Swinney was an infant. Swinney’s brother, Tripp, 15 months old at the time, constantly tried to say “that boy” when referring to his brother. But his pronunciation came out sounding more like “Dabo,” and apparently that nickname stuck with him from that point on.

The State profiled the origin of the nickname back in 2009, but with Clemson playing for a national championship, it was only a matter of time before somebody dug up the story one more time.

What is interesting to note, though, is Swinney’s father actually referred to his son more by his middle name (Christopher) by calling him Chris until Tripp landed the new name on his brother.

As far as we know, Nick Saban’s real first name is indeed Nicholas.

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