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  • Frank Gillespie remembered by Clemson's Dabo Swinney

    by Gerald Harris, posted Wednesday, March 22, 2017 (one year ago)

    Photos courtesy of
    VILLA RICA, Ga. (BP) -- Frank Irvin Gillespie's last year playing football at Clemson was 1949 -- 20 years before Dabo Swinney, coach of the university's national championship football team, was born.

    However, Coach Swinney called Gillespie's son Frank the day after his dad died to offer his condolences -- a call evidencing that Frank Irvin Gillespie's influence at Clemson is legendary and still being felt nearly 70 years after his last football game. Read More

  • Alabama, Clemson players pique pastor's compassion

    by David Roach, posted Monday, January 09, 2017 (one year ago)

    Photo courtesy of Bruce Chesser.
    TAMPA, Fla. (BP) -- Six seasons as chaplain of the University of Alabama football team give pastor Bruce Chesser a unique perspective on the Jan. 9 College Football Playoff title game between Alabama and Clemson University.

    The uniqueness, however, isn't the strength of his allegiance to the Crimson Tide -- though his office does feature a sign that reads "Jesus bled crimson." What's unique for Chesser, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., is the way he thinks about the players on both sidelines. Read More

  • Clemson head coach faces Father's Day of memories

    by Butch Blume/South Carolina Baptist Courier, posted Monday, June 13, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Photo courtesy of Clemson University Sports Information
    CLEMSON, S.C. (BP) -- When Father's Day rolls around this year, Dabo Swinney won't be able to pick up the phone and call his dad.

    But Clemson's head football coach still has a few voicemail messages from the man he calls "Big Erv," who passed away last August. Maybe he'll listen to them again, as he does from time to time.

    Last summer, in the months before he died, Ervil Swinney had been receiving treatments in Greenville for a recurrence of lung cancer. Still, he seemed to be doing pretty well. By August, he was back at his appliance shop at the M&M Hardware in Alabaster, Ala., where he enjoyed "holding court" with his buddies. He felt tired and sat down to take a nap. He never woke up. Read More

  • Pastor: Swinney's actions back up profession of faith

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Monday, January 11, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Photo courtesy of Clemson University
    SENECA, S.C. (BP) -- Ryan Goodroe couldn't believe what he saw when he took his kids to play baseball in Clemson, S.C.

    When he showed up for one of the first practices, he noticed Thad Turnipseed, recruiting director for the Clemson University Tigers football team, coaching one of the teams.

    Goodroe, pastor of Utica Baptist Church in Seneca, S.C., just down the road from Clemson, had met Turnipseed a couple of times, so he approached him with a question. Read More

  • Alabama-Clemson matchup about more than championship

    by Tim Ellsworth, posted Monday, January 11, 2016 (2 years ago)

    Photo courtesy of Gary Cramer.
    GLENDALE, Ariz. (BP) -- For many, it could be difficult to imagine a College Football Playoff National Championship between two more quintessential Bible Belt teams than tonight's (Jan. 11) Alabama and Clemson matchup.

    Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 1A for fan bases, that love God and football with that order sometimes up for debate.

    Talk to those in the know, however, and one thing isn't debatable -- both teams have a strong ... Read More