CLEMSON — It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Nae Nae, or the Whip, or a 45-year-old man trying to be hip.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney just wants to have fun. If the cameras catch what even his own star player generously labels a middling effort at busting a move, so be it.
More and more often, Swinney is receiving attention — from Clemson’s official Twitter account to SportsCenter highlight shows — for his postgame celebrations, which energize the Tigers’ locker room.
“Well, I guess if you’ve seen me dance, you can tell that there’s not much premeditation in it,” Swinney said on Wednesday’s ACC coaches teleconference. “My boys mess with me all the time, (and) these players do.
“But I do believe we want to have an atmosphere here that when we win, man, it’s fun. I don’t ever want to be a part of a program or a place that when you win, it ain’t no fun. I think that’s sad.”
Swinney is 64-26 as a head coach, and his 11th-ranked Tigers are 3-0 this year.
“It’s too hard to win, and again, I don’t care how you win,” Swinney said. “Ugly wins are a beautiful thing. I’d take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day, and I’ve had some of those.”
Swinney’s latest “ugly” win was a 20-17 triumph at Louisville, after which Swinney attempted what sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson said was “Hit Dem Folks,” taught to Swinney by Watson and receivers Germone Hopper and Trevion Thompson.
Asked to score Swinney’s groove from 1 to 10, Watson bit his lip and said, “I’ll rate him a 5,” eliciting laughter from reporters. “We’ll coach him up more.”
“It’s a crazy day and age now where everything you do, people got a camera somewhere,” Swinney said. “I don’t think about that stuff. We just have fun.”
The Tigers hit the practice field Wednesday and Thursday, and plan to take off Friday, Saturday and Sunday as part of their only bye week of the season.
Clemson players will report again Sunday night, in preparation to face No. 6 Notre Dame on Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. in a game televised by ABC.