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Clemson coach says 'best is yet to come' after winning national championship

Dabo Swinney believes 'program is built to last'

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney celebrates with his players after the Tigers defeated Alabama to win the College Football Playoff National Championship at Raymond James Stadium.(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney celebrates with his players after the Tigers defeated Alabama to win the College Football Playoff National Championship at Raymond James Stadium.(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. – Fresh off winning the school's first national championship in 35 years, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday that "the best is yet to come for us."

Swinney spoke to reporters a day after Clemson defeated Alabama 35-31 in the College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa.

The 47-year-old Alabama native was still basking under the Florida sun after his team's come-from-behind, game-winning touchdown with a second remaining to win the game.

Swinney said he'd spend some time celebrating with the players before meeting with the returning team members to lay out his vision for 2017.

Even though the Tigers will lose quarterback Deshaun Watson, running back Wayne Gallman and wide receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott early to the NFL Draft, Swinney said he's confident that Clemson will return to the summit of college football.

"I mean, there's no doubt in my mind that the best is yet to come for us," Swinney said. "I mean, we're going to continue to improve, continue to get better. Winning national championships are hard. I mean, it's very, very difficult to do."

It took the Tigers 35 years to win their second national championship in school history. They came close a season ago, losing their first game to Alabama in last year's title game.

"It won't be 35 years before Clemson will do this again," Swinney said. "God willing, I'll be a part of it, but this program is built to last."


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