According to the release made by the Bobby Dodd Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, “the head coaches on the watch list represent programs with the highest ideals of leadership, scholarship and integrity on and off the field — the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s philosophy.”
Swinney won the award in 2011 when he led Clemson to its first ACC Championship in 20 years and set a school record for wins over top-25 teams in a season (4). He was Clemson's first Coach of the Year since Danny Ford in 1981.
Other ACC coaches on the 2015 Watch List are Jimbo Fisher of Florida State and Paul Johnson of Georgia Tech. Brian Kelly of Notre Dame and Steve Spurrier of South Carolina are also on the list. All four of those coaches will face Swinney and the Tigers this year. All but Spurrier will face the Tigers in Memorial Stadium.
Swinney has led Clemson to a 61-26 record in seven seasons. That includes a 42-11 mark over the last four years. Clemson has won at least 10 games each of the last four years, and the 42 victories are a school record over a four-year period. Clemson has finished each of the last four years in the top 25 of both polls, including top-15 rankings each of the last three.