Note: The following appears in the Texas A&M gameday football program.
Two of the most successful coaches in the nation compete in Memorial Stadium this afternoon when Clemson and Texas A&M match up. While it is the first time since 2005 that Texas A&M has visited Death Valley and just the second meeting between the two schools in the last 14 seasons, the head coaches are very familiar with each other.
Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher was the Florida State head coach from 2010-17, and he was an assistant coach with the Seminoles for the three seasons prior to that. With Florida State and Clemson in the same ACC division, the two schools met every year. Thus, this is the 10th consecutive year Fisher and Dabo Swinney are meeting on the gridiron as head coaches, and the 13th year in a row they are on opposite sidelines, as Swinney came to Clemson as an assistant coach in 2003.
Facts about the personal series between the two give testimony to the expertise of both coaches:
The two coaches have a few other things in common. Both are from the state of Alabama and played college football in that state. Fisher played for Terry Bowden at Samford in Homewood, Ala., where he was the Division III national player-of-the-year. Swinney played at Alabama, where he was a walk-on, but he was a key member of the Crimson Tide’s 1992 national championship squad.
Swinney’s first position coach in college was Tommy Bowden, Terry’s brother and Swinney’s predecessor as head coach at Clemson. Bringing the relationship full circle, Terry Bowden is on Swinney’s staff at Clemson this year as a graduate intern.
Swinney owns a 5-4 lead in the head-to-head coaching matchup. Today marks the ninth time in a row Swinney has had a top-25 team entering the game, including a top-four team for the fifth year in a row. This is the seventh time Fisher has had a top-20 team entering the game.
We assure you, both coaches will have their respective teams ready.