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ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
Where Legacies Begin
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ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
Volume 5, Issue 2
DEPARTMENTS 6 Bobby Couch
IPTAY Major Gifts is working to help Clemson be the best
SOMETHING IN THESE HILLS 8 Pawsitive Press
Solid Orange Block Party
Clemson in The Wall Street Journal
10 Coaches Corner
12 Beyond the Game
14 IPTAY Donor Spotlight
Chad & April Staggs
16 IPTAY Representative Spotlight
18 IPTAY New Donor Spotlight
20 Dalton Freeman’s ‘Picture Perfect Day’ 21 IPTAY Joins Twitter
Night and Day: Clemson shines under the brightest national spotlight in recent memory.
IPTAY Quick Facts
61 Memorials 62 IPTAY Donor Photos 64 The Last Word
Jim Barker’s legacy
22 Ford’s Special Night
48 Setting the Standard
Editor: Philip Sikes
Legendary Clemson Football coach, Danny Ford, inducted into the Ring of Honor.
Women’s golf program tees it up for the first time.
35 Changing the Story
52 Men’s Golf Outlook
Assistant Editors Tim Bourret Steven Bradley Lindsey Leonard
Clemson native Ara Amirkhanian and his teammates aim to return Tiger soccer to nation’s elite.
Men’s Golf Head Coach Larry Penley expects accountability, and for his young team to become unified and compete for championships.
38 Clemson Basketball, Italian Style Tigers create ‘significant memories’ on and off the court during 10-day foreign tour.
44 Worth the Wait After biding his time, Spencer Shuey emerges as catalyst in Tigers’ defensive revival.
56 Purple Power Tiger fans can be proud to participate in Military Appreciation Day ‘Purple Out.’
Graphics Coordinator: Melissa Bradley Contributing Writers Schuyler Easterling Gavin Oliver Chief Photographer Rex Brown
59 NCAA Compliance Can I provide prospects with anything?
IN THE NEXT ISSUE ... A preview of the 2013-14 men’s and women’s basketball seasons.
Orange: The Experience is published eight times a year by IPTAY Media exclusively for donors to the IPTAY Scholarship Fund. A minimum priority contribution is $140, although contributions of any amount are welcome. To join IPTAY, call 864.656.2115 or go to www.clemsontigers.com and click on IPTAY. To advertise in Orange: The Experience, call 864.882.2375, fax 864.882.2381 or e-mail to email@example.com, or call 864.656.2975 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve had an address or phone number change, call the IPTAY office at 864.656.2115; go to www.clemsontigers.com and click on IPTAY; or send your name, IPTAY number, new address, new phone number and e-mail address to: IPTAY, P.O. Box 1529, Clemson, SC 29633.
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
IPTAY MAJOR GIFTS IS WORKING TO HELP CLEMSON BE THE BEST Bobby Couch
director of major gifts
have something on the desk in my office here at the IPTAY Center that reminds me every day just how far we have come with our Major Gifts program. It is a picture of my wife, Christi, and I at an event in the WestZone to celebrate raising more than $28 million against a $27 million goal to see that facility come to fruition. Every time I see the WestZone, it is a reminder of Terry Don Phillips’ vision and a reminder of what Coach Tommy Bowden felt was a necessary major step for us to have a successful football program. And it’s a reminder of where it all began. One thing that has been interesting about the Major Gifts program is its evolution. IPTAY has been around since 1934, and our people understand that our acronym stands for I Pay Ten A Year. They understand the importance of that Annual Fund gift and that it pays for scholarships, the operation of Vickery Hall and running the IPTAY organization. Back in the mid-2000s, the idea of a WestZone Initiative manifested itself, and it began to put financial strain on the athletic department. When you pay for scholarships and all the things IPTAY was doing as an organization, we just didn’t have enough resources left over to fund such a project. The Major Gifts program truly started in 2005. I was brought on in April to manage the WestZone Initiative, and we had a strong volunteer base. But I was looking around thinking, “OK, where is our Major Gifts team?” For the most part, everyone at IPTAY was involved on the Annual Fund side. So, Jeff Davis and I were it. We were the extent of the Major Gifts team. Being one of Clemson’s all-time greats on the gridiron, Jeff was doing a lot of other things — mentoring for the football program and being a valuable asset in that regard — but he had a tremendous skill set as a Major Gift fundraiser. People were so excited to see him and his passion and for him to articulate why the WestZone Initiative was so important for our student-athletes. I hit the lottery having Jeff on the Major Gifts team, and that’s really what launched the program. The two of us were on the road, and
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
we were working with our IPTAY Board and our campaign volunteers to put together small group meetings. Joe Turner and Phil Prince were co-chairs of the WestZone Initiative. They were such great leaders who helped mobilize our volunteer group, which helped us in a big way. Through those volunteer efforts and our staff-driven efforts, a Major Gifts program was born. But that only got it started. That really got us to the starting line with other major programs, but once the gun sounded and the race began, we realized we still had a long way to go. We’ve added to our Major Gifts team. Bob Mahony moved over from the Annual Fund side of things, and joined our team and is doing an outstanding job. Jeff has since moved on to Director of Player Personnel and is in a place where he is having a tremendous impact on our young men playing football. He’s a perfect fit for that, and to this day he still helps us raise money. We were given the ability by the athletic department, in particular the IPTAY Board, to hire additional staff. We hired Aaron Dunham and Ford Williams, and now we have more people out seeing donors who are in a position to make major gifts. We have assembled a very effective group, but more importantly a collection of high-character representatives of IPTAY. Over the last four or five years, we’ve been very sport-specific in our fundraising initiatives. We developed volunteer boards for golf, football, basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer. We’ve started the process of building off of Dan Radakovich’s vision, which will become even clearer when he presents his comprehensive plan at the October Board of Trustees meeting. We’re working on the assumption that we’re going to do something significant for basketball. There’s been a great deal of discussion over whether it is going to be a refurbishment of Littlejohn Coliseum or if we’re going to build a new arena. That’s just one of many questions we are working through regarding our facilities. For football, are we going to finish out the WestZone immediately? What is that going to look like? Are we going to add on to the Indoor Practice Facility?
What are we going to do on the south side of Historic Riggs Field? Now that the pedestrian bridge is done, what are we going to do on the other side to create a plaza to celebrate our two national championships? For baseball, what is our player facility going to look like? Now that we’re in the process of resurfacing the field and changing the dimensions to build on to the exceptional quality of Doug Kingsmore Stadium, what’s next? Tom Chapman stepped up and made a significant gift to help us build the left-field grandstand for additional and improved student seating. What are we going to do now to build a player facility that can be a recruiting magnet like we’ve had with the WestZone? For tennis, what will Hoke Sloan Tennis Center evolve to become? Ed and Jane Duckworth have made a significant investment in our tennis program already, and we hope the footprint of tennis will expand someday soon to include six courts under one roof. For our student-athlete enrichment, Vickery Hall is now outdated and is in dire need of upgrades and improvement. Scholarships will always be the primary focus around here, so we have to keep raising those annual dollars, but maybe more importantly we need to look to leverage the future and build our scholarship endowment through major and planned gifts. IPTAY and its donors have always been the leader, and we’re going to ask them to lead again. We don’t want to be in the muddy middle. We want to be out front. Whereas we were behind eight to 10 years ago, we’ve gotten caught up. Now we need to lead, and we need to be the best. To get there, it is going to take a significant investment in this program, and the Major Gifts program is a conduit to those investments. We orchestrate, facilitate and communicate. We’re liaisons, and the only way for us to get everything done is for our generous IPTAY donors to continue to be generous. We feel good about what we have, but we need to be the best. Coach Dabo Swinney talks about best being the standard. What does being the best look like? Well, we’re getting ready to find out. And for us to be the best, we’re going to have to ask people to give their best.
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SOMETHING IN THESE HILLS PAWSITIVE PRESS Highlighting Clemson’s top performers in athletics Grace Barnett Women’s Cross Country • Pawleys Island, SC Barnett led the Tigers to a runner-up finish at the season-opening Furman Classic by placing eighth individually. She was one of four first-year freshmen to score in the opening meet for the Tigers.
Hannah Brenner Volleyball • Orrville, OH Brenner had a triple-double in Clemson’s win over Furman to clinch the Big Orange Bash title for the Tigers. It was only the third in school history for a setter. She was named ACC Player of the Week on Sept. 9 for her efforts.
Roderick McDowell Football • Sumter, SC In his first career start at the running back position, McDowell ran for a careerhigh 132 yards in the season-opening win over No. 5 Georgia.
Thomas McNamara Men’s Soccer • West Nyack, NY The graduate student transfer from Brown University scored 12 points in Clemson’s first six matches of the season, including one goal in five of the six.
STUDENT BODY COMES TOGETHER FOR SOLID ORANGE BLOCK PARTY As a senior thrower for the Clemson track & field team, Marcus Brown knows his classmates often view him as just an athlete and lose sight of the first part of the term student-athlete. The Solid Orange Block Party held Sept. 5 in the horseshoe in front of Vickery Hall was aimed at changing that perception. Brown is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which hosted the event in hopes of getting the student body — both the students who play for a varsity sports team and those who don’t — together right in the heart of campus. “A lot of times since we’re basically on two separate realms of the campus, we really never get together as a student body,” Brown said. “We just wanted to get together and let everybody know, ‘Hey, we’re students too. We’re just like you guys.’” Funded by IPTAY, the event featured a live DJ, photo booth, pizza, games and raffles to encourage student-athletes to engage their classmates. “SAAC is devoted to being involved with the community and the rest of the student body here at Clemson,” Director of the IPTAY Annual Fund Travis Furbee said. “We are in full support of its initiatives, so we are happy to fund an event like this that allows our student-athletes to interact with their classmates.” The event was also aimed at spreading the Solid Orange message, which promotes sportsmanship, good fan behavior and safe tailgating at Clemson’s sporting events, to the freshman class early into their time on campus. “We want to get these messages across early,” Assistant Director of StudentAthlete Development Kyra Lobbins said. “There are going to be a lot of football games, and we want to make sure students are doing the right thing and the safe thing, while being able to have a good time.” — by Steven Bradley/IPTAY Media
Jenna Polonsky Women’s Soccer • Winston-Salem, NC The sophomore midfielder headed in the game-winner in the 85th minute of Clemson’s first ACC win of the season, a 2-1 triumph over Boston College on Sept. 15 at Historic Riggs Field.
Sloan Shanahan Women’s Golf • Suwanee, GA Shanahan birdied the opening hole in the history of Clemson’s women’s golf program at Yeamans Hall Club. She led the Tigers to a runner-up finish at the Cougar Classic and tied for second place individually with teammate Ashlan Ramsey.
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
Clemson Football Lauded by
��� The Wall Street Journal
In its annual grid of shame, The Wall Street Journal rated all 125 Division I college football teams on two major premises: on-the-field projection and off-the-field performance. Clemson ranked higher on the “admirable” scale than any school ranked as high on the “powerhouse” scale, and higher on the “powerhouse” scale than any school ranked as high on the “admirable” scale, in essence making Clemson the top program in the nation when onfield success and off-field behavior are considered in tandem. Quoting the WSJ, “The Tigers are going to class and staying out of the hoosegow – and could win the Atlantic Coast Conference.”
Q&A with Women’s Golf Head Coach J.T. Horton In our latest installment of Coaches Corner, “Orange: The Experience” Editor Philip Sikes sat down with Head Coach J.T. Horton, the first coach in the history of the Clemson women’s golf program. In the question and answer session, Horton discussed the challenges behind building a program, the excitement of the team’s first tournament and the relationship with the men’s golf coaching staff. Q: Two years into this job, has it been everything you thought it would be and more? Horton: “It’s been everything I had hoped it would be, and more. The support from the community and administration has been tremendous. When you take a job and start a program, you’re never sure how the recruiting chips will fall. You have a dream of how you expect it to be, but when it turns out to be that way, it’s that much better of a feeling. It gives you more motivation to work hard, and do the things you love to do. I’ve been very happy with not only the support, but also the attraction and excitement surrounding the women’s golf program. On the recruiting side, I’ve been extremely pleased with the way the families have shown a lot of interest in our program.” Q: What has been the biggest challenge since you were named the program’s first head coach? Horton: “The biggest challenge is starting a program from scratch, because there are so many things to go through. There’s not a lot of consistency in terms of what to expect, but that also makes it fun. There’s something new every day. The hardest thing the last two years was taking my competitive mindset, and putting it on hold. I put my competitive mindset into the recruiting side of it. It was difficult to be on the outside looking in for two years, and after our first tournament it made me appreciate how much fun it was to be coaching our players. The hardest thing was definitely having to wait for things to come to you, and being patient enough to get out there and start playing.” 10
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
Q: Much has been made of last year’s recruiting class. What was it about Clemson and the opportunity within your program that sold these prospects? Horton: “When you recruit elite players, you have to be enthusiastic and have a vision of what you expect these prospects to accomplish. I sold them on my vision of what I see the program becoming. I sold them on the opportunity to be part of the inaugural team. There’s only one chance to be part of something like that at Clemson. The biggest thing I sold to the elite players was that they could go anywhere else in the country and chase somebody’s records, or they could come here and set the standard of excellence. Let the people behind you come chase you. These players have the opportunity to set the bar high. They can put that vision of what we hope and dream for as a team, and put it into reality. That was a big deal for them. They want to put this program on elite status right away. They wanted the opportunity to be the first. They also want to come back here one day with their grandchildren, and show them they started the program and look how it is today. Another thing I saw with only having six players was the opportunity for playing time. That’s something that appeals to everybody. That was a big sell as well.” Q: Was it your intention to pursue as many elite-level players right away as you did? Horton: “Sure. We were fortunate to have McKenzie Talbert come on board as our first commitment. Not only is she a great South Carolina regional player, she was also a national caliber talent. When you get someone like that, and then add elite players like Taylor and Ashlan Ramsey, that got the ball rolling in the right direction. I had a motto when I walked in, that I would start at the top and see what happened. If we needed to go down the ladder, we would. We were very fortunate to get elite players across the board – not just South Carolina or Georgia players, but even one all the way from California.”
Q: Your first ever tournament is in the books. How did it feel to finally see the fruits of your labor come to a reality? Horton: “For me as a coach, to see it all come together, it was pretty special. The excitement on the first tee, with nothing but the orange of 75 to 100 Clemson fans around the box, was special. There’s been so much buildup, not just in the last two years. People have wanted women’s golf at Clemson for 10-plus years. It was a great opportunity for our players, and for Janine (Fellows) and I as coaches. I’m glad the players who took a chance on me as a coach had the opportunity to experience something that nobody else will. Now that it’s in the books, we cherish those memories and set a standard moving forward. We won’t win them all, but that was a great opportunity to see where we stand. I think our team realizes now we have an opportunity to be a national elite program. Now that we’ve stepped away from it, we have things we can continue to work on to help us get to and stay at that standard for a long time. That’s what we’re working on now as a program.” Q: All of this isn’t nearly as smooth without a supportive men’s program. How have Coach Larry Penley and Coach Jordan Byrd eased this transition for you? Horton: “The biggest thing Coach Penley did was put both teams under the Clemson golf umbrella. That was one of the best things he could have done for us. He is such a respected person. He has a lot of connections in the South Carolina recruiting area. That gave us immediate credibility as a program. It gave us immediate access to the facilities and area golf courses. Not only have he and Jordan been extremely supportive of us, so have the players on his team. Any time you come into a situation that’s already been established, you wonder if there will be any uneasiness. It’s been nothing like that; not even close. Coach Penley and Coach Byrd have been tremendous fans and great people for us, and we respect them for the great opportunity they have given us here at Clemson.”
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��� Beyond the Game with ...
� Senior Midfielder, Women’s Soccer
We hear you’ve been interning with a local sports talk radio station. Tell us a little about how that’s going and what you’ve learned.
didn’t even realize until I came here they were former Tigers as well.”
“I absolutely loved my experience with them this summer. I have always wanted to get into broadcasting, and since I stay here during the summer to train, getting the internship with Mickey Plyler at WCCP was a great way to get some experience. I learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes, like the technical part of it all, as well as how the business side of a radio station works. My favorite part by far was just the on-air work. Being able to talk about sports and really give the listeners some insight on how it is being an athlete here at Clemson.”
What was it about Clemson that appealed to you when you were making a decision on where to attend college? “The family environment. Everyone says it, but it is so true. The entire athletic community is like a family, we all support one another and not many schools can say that honestly. I visited several D1 schools when going through the recruiting process, but as soon as I came to Clemson I knew I wanted to be a Tiger. “ What is your best memory from your career here at Clemson?
How do you envision putting your degree in Communication Studies to use once your playing career is done? “I have actually already accepted a job, which I will be starting Jan. 2. I will be a regional marketing representative for a company, and even though I lack some business experience, they said it was my communication skills they need, so it will all be put to use as soon as I am done.” You’ve been on the Honor Roll, Dean’s List and President’s List pretty regularly during your time here, so you are obviously someone who has made academics a priority, as well as athletics. How difficult has it been juggling the two and how much have the resources available at Vickery Hall helped in that regard? “My freshman year was much different for me than many others. I was not challenged academically throughout high school, so college and balancing a schedule was a struggle in the beginning, but thanks to Vickery hall and especially Becky Bowman, I became well adjusted soon after. They really focused on certain things I needed help with and taught me ways to accommodate them. Tutors, as well, were very beneficial.” What is your favorite genre of music? Why that kind? What are your favorite groups or artists? “I love music, and I truly listen to everything — but classic rock has to be my favorite and I definitely got that from my parents. Eric Clapton and The Allman Brothers are two of my favorites, as well as Hootie and the Blowfish.” Are you a social media person? “I love social media — being able to connect with anyone and everyone at any moment is awesome. Especially with friends and family who I don’t get to see as often anymore, I can see what they are up to or what they are doing so easily through social media.” Are there any soccer players you really enjoy watching or try to model your game after? “Growing up, Mia Hamm, of course, and the Augustyniak sisters (Julie and Nancy) were girls I wanted to grow up and play like. I had always watched the sisters play for Atlanta Beat when I was younger and
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
“There are many of those, but recently the team took a trip during the preseason over at the outdoor lab, and it was a blast. For three days, I was surrounded by my best friends. In a small span of time we made so many memories. Not to mention all of the away trips we have taken when traveling are some memories I will never forget.” — by Victoria Reid photos by Rex Brown
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DO N O R SPOTLI G H T
When did you become a Clemson fan? “I (Chad) was born a Clemson fan and have been pulling for the Tigers my whole life. April found out when we started dating that if she wanted to see me during the fall she’d have to wear orange.” Why did you get involved with IPTAY? “We joined IPTAY and became football season ticket holders when we were married. We wanted the opportunity to begin our own family tradition of spending Saturdays in the fall cheering on the Tigers in the Valley.”
Chad & April Staggs
What is your favorite gameday tradition? “Running down The Hill is the greatest entrance in all of college football. We always make sure we are in our seats in time to experience the ‘most exciting 25 seconds in college football.’” Who is your favorite all-time student athlete? “C.J. Spiller is one of the most talented guys to ever play in Clemson. But the combination of athletic skill and personal character is what makes him our favorite. His open display of his faith makes him special. He’s the kind of person you don’t mind your kids looking up to.” Who is your favorite Clemson coach? “I love the excitement Dabo Swinney has brought to Clemson. On and off the field, he’s doing things the right way. From the ACC Championship to the All-In Foundation, he’s making his mark at Clemson.” What is one thing you always do when you come to Clemson? “We enjoy tailgating with friends. We always take opportunities to visit with friends that we haven’t seen in a while.” Why should someone who is not an IPTAY member join? “Joining IPTAY gives you a chance to be a part of something great. Not only can you enjoy watching your favorite team on the field, but you also know that you are helping young men and women receive an education that can benefit them for life.” — compiled by Victoria Reid
“C.J. Spiller is one of the most
talented guys to ever play in Clemson. He’s the kind of person you don’t mind your kids looking up to.”
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
Chad and April Stagg s with sons Carter and Charlie.
Years of Membership:
Proud Supporter of Clemson Football.
REPRESEN TATI V E SPOTLI G H T
When did you become a Clemson fan? “I became a Clemson fan in the mid-1960s when my daughter was born, and as she grew, only wanted to talk about attending Clemson. I bought individual game tickets for the next several years and joined IPTAY in 1982.” Why did you get involved with IPTAY? “I joined IPTAY initially in order to purchase season football tickets. The more I learned about IPTAY the more I wanted to help the student-athletes earn a quality education and continue to develop themselves in their particular sport. I have been honored to serve as an IPTAY Rep and Orangeburg County Chairman for nearly 20 years.”
What is your favorite gameday tradition? “I always enjoy going downtown, followed by a walk through campus. In addition, one of the highlights of game day is tailgating with very special friends over the last 31 years in Lot 2.” Who is your favorite all-time student athlete? “I try not to identify with one particular athlete, preferring instead to dwell on the team concept. While one athlete may have special talents and abilities, it is the team that makes all of it come together.” Who is your favorite Clemson coach? “There is not one individual football coach but three: Coach Frank Howard, Coach Danny Ford and Coach Dabo Swinney. Each brought that Alabama mystique to Clemson. Coach Howard built a tremendous foundation for Clemson football. Coach Ford showed that hard work and dedication could carry you to the top. Coach Swinney has shown enthusiasm for not only the game of football, but also the game of life, and dedication to players and fans alike that is admirable and worthy of emulation.” What is one thing you always do when you come to Clemson? “I always enjoy walking through campus and spending time in the military plaza across the street from The Hill. It is heartwarming to honor those individuals who gave so much in order for us to enjoy our campus and university.” Why should someone who is not an IPTAY member join? “The future of our society rests with our young people. By your donation to IPTAY, you are enabling student-athletes to participate in their sport of choice at the highest level at a near-top-20 university while acquiring a quality education. Likewise, your donation to IPTAY helps Clemson provide outstanding athletic facilities for these student-athletes. The money IPTAY provides to the academic side of the house is outstanding and helps ensure a quality education is available to non-student athletes.”
Years of Membership:
— compiled by Victoria Reid
“The future of our
society rests with our young people ...
The money IPTAY provides to the academic side of the house is outstanding and helps ensure a quality education is available to non-student athletes.” 16
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
Photo by Dawson Powers
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N E W DO N O R SPOTLI G H T
When did you become a Clemson fan? “I became a Clemson fan when my family moved to South Carolina when I was 14. I was able to visit the campus shortly after moving and immediately fell in love.” Why did you get involved with IPTAY? “I thought it was a great way to get involved around campus and to show my school spirit, so I became an IPTAY member during my freshman orientation in 2007.”
What is your favorite gameday tradition? “My favorite tradition is watching the Tigers run down The Hill. There are few things that can beat the feeling you get from the sound of that cannon with thousands of your fellow Clemson faithful cheering on.” Who is your favorite all-time student athlete? “C.J. Spiller.” Who is your favorite Clemson coach? “It’s a tie between Danny Ford and Dabo Swinney.” What is one thing you always do when you come to Clemson? “Every time I make a trip to God’s Country, I love to take a drive around campus to see what has changed since I graduated.” Why should someone who is not an IPTAY member join? “Being an IPTAY member is not only a great way to show your Tiger pride, but also gives you great benefits such as ticket priority and retail discounts. Honestly, I can’t think of a reason not to join.” — compiled by Victoria Reid
Brandee, left, with Ka ci Rackley (’10) tailgating before the South Carolina game last sea son.
Years of Membership: 1 Year
“Every time I make a
trip to God’s Country, I love to take a drive around campus to see what has changed since I graduated.”
Photo by Dawson Powers
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
Even on the edge of town,
BE ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT. That’s Powerful.
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‘Picture Perfect Day’ Dalton Freeman had never been so nervous in his life, not even on a football field. The former center started 49 games at Clemson from 2009-12 and went through just about everything on the gridiron until the fateful early evening of July 12. The 6-foot-5, 291-pounder stepped onto Frank Howard Field yet again, but this time for a whole new ball game. Freeman was preparing to propose to his girlfriend, Sarah Henderson, in Death Valley, and the pregame jitters experienced before his first-ever contest against Middle Tennessee his freshman year paled in comparison to popping the question. Once Henderson said “yes,” Freeman could rest easy and celebrate another victory. “On a scale (of nerves) from one to 10, today being a 10, I was probably a one against Middle Tennessee,” Freeman said. “Luckily in both situations I knew we were going to win the game and I knew she was going to say yes, but I was still really nervous and couldn’t relax until I saw that smile on her face.” After parking outside the WestZone for what Henderson believed was an IPTAY event, Freeman led her into the stadium with a photographer snapping photos of one of Clemson University’s men’s choirs, TIGEROAR.
All-American center Freeman has one more magic moment at Memorial Stadium
Freeman gave Henderson several sunflowers, her favorite type, and the three men sporting orange blazers turned their attention to Henderson and vocalized the couple’s song to her before leaving them alone to pray. The prayer concluded and Henderson looked up to see two of the stadium’s video boards displaying a picture of the couple and the words, “Sarah, will you marry me?” With tears of elation rolling down Henderson’s face, the couple embraced each other and was met by family and friends while Tiger Rag blared harmoniously across the loudspeaker. A crude thunderstorm blew off a few minutes before the engagement, allowing the creeping sun to appear for what Henderson called “a picture perfect day.” “Honestly I couldn’t have dreamt a better proposal than this,”Henderson said. “Before I even knew him, I’ve always been a Clemson football fanatic, and he really tricked me. It was amazing, and I still can’t believe all of this.” Henderson is from Toccoa, GA, and graduated with Freeman in December. Freeman signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent, and he had drawn raves from Head Coach Rex Ryan before an ankle injury relegated him to the team’s practice squad entering the NFL regular season.
OCTOBER 18 8:00 PM FREE ADMISSION 20
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
It’s that type of uncertainty and physicality in the harsh NFL that played a part in Freeman’s decision to propose, knowing it would be helpful to have the woman he loves help him through what could be a rigid trial ahead. “Honestly, that was one of the main reasons why I was ready to go ahead and do this,” Freeman said, “because no matter what happens, I know she’ll be by my side. She makes me a better person spiritually, physically, mentally, and I know she’s always going to be there for me.” — by Gavin Oliver, photo by Rex Brown/IPTAY Media
��� IPTAY Connects to Clemson Nation
By Joining Twitter
Last month, IPTAY broadened its scope in the world of social media by launching a new twitter handle (@ IPTAY_ ). This new information outlet is set to inform and connect our IPTAY donors, students, alumni and fans to a better understanding of our goal of raising funds for Clemson Athletics. While www.clemsontigers.com/iptay will remain the primary location for concrete information about IPTAY, this new twitter account will allow IPTAY donors and the entire Clemson Tiger nation an inside look into our everyday operations. We will be able to show our followers events and happenings that take place throughout the year in which the public would generally be unaware of. As the handle develops, IPTAY will look to implement ways to create increased follower engagement and reward those who participate. This effort to grow our social media presence is to ensure that the IPTAY brand continues to spread and build national recognition. Please help IPTAY with this goal by following us on this new twitter platform and actively involving us in your social media use. Looking for additional ways to connect? This (@IPTAY_) handle addition joins the IPTAY Collegiate Club (@IPTAYCC) on Twitter, which already holds a strong presence of connecting and informing our current students. IPTAY also has presence on Instagram and can be found at (iptay_). Stay up with the latest insight and news by following our various social media outlets.
DID YOU KNOW? IPTAY Membership for the first year (11/1934-12/1935) was 162 donors and contributions totaled $1,623.70. In 1972, IPTAY surpassed raising $500,000 in donations. IPTAY was the first athletic fundraising organization in the country to top the two, three and four million dollar marks in annual donations. In 1983, IPTAY reached the 5 million dollar mark for the first time in history. In the IPTAY fiscal year 2013, the organization raised a total of 26.7 million in annual, planned and major gifts and had 15, 136 donors.
7/5/2013 SEPTEMB E R 212:34:36 0 1 3 PM ❘ 21
FORD’S SPECIAL NIGHT Legendary Clemson coach that led Tigers to 1981 National Championship was inducted into the Ring of Honor prior to ClemsonGeorgia game on August 31 by Tim Bourret
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
Danny Ford’s name was unveiled in the Clemson Ring of Honor in Memorial Stadium after Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich presented he and his family a plaque commemorating the achievement during the pregame festivites before the Tigers played Georgia on Aug. 31. Photo at left by Dawson Powers; photo below by Rex Brown, IPTAY Media
t was the first week of December 1978, and Danny Ford came into Bob Bradley’s office carrying a copy of the Atlanta Constitution sports section. I happened to be in the office, as Mr. B and I had been busy on the phone all day with writers from all over the Southeast who were wondering if rumors of Charley Pell’s departure to the University of Florida were true. The Atlanta newspaper had written an article that Ford would be a strong candidate to replace Pell if he left for the home of the Gators. But, there was a typo in the article, which meant to say that, “Highly regarded Clemson offensive line coach Danny Ford is a strong candidate to succeed Pell if he goes to Florida.” The typo came in the second word. The writer had typed a t in the word regarded instead of a g. Ford asked Bradley, “Bob, can I sue?”
Ford has been no stranger to Clemson after retiring from coaching in 1997. He lives in the area and has been part of many reunions over the years. Photo by Rex Brown, IPTAY Media
In classic Bob Bradley quick wit, he responded, “Well coach, you are going to have to prove them wrong first!” Pell decided to take that Florida job on December 4, 1978 and Ford succeeded him. He “proved them wrong” for the next 11 years at Clemson. He wrote a résumé that culminated on August 31 with his induction into the Ring on Honor, the highest award bestowed by the Clemson Athletic Department. Clemson’s 1978 team posted a 10-1 record in the regular season and had won nine in a row and an ACC Championship. The Tigers were ranked seventh in the nation and had accepted an invitation to play Ohio State and future Hall of Fame coach Woody Hayes in the Gator Bowl just 25 days after he was hired. No pressure Danny!
“I really didn’t know how to be a head coach,” said Ford, in his classic humble manner. “I just made some decisions on penalties that night. We had some great coaches and some great players.” Ford certainly had some great players help him in that first game, a 17-15 win over the Buckeyes. His roster included Steve Fuller, Jerry Butler, Jeff Davis and Terry Kinard (did not play due to injury), and all four of them preceded Ford into the Ring of Honor. The victory received even more acclaim than normal because Hayes punched Clemson middle guard Charlie Bauman after he made a gameclinching interception late in the game that allowed the Tigers to earn the two-point win on national television. In the chaos of the moment and the chaos that followed the game, we learned a lot about Danny Ford. At age 30, he had the maturity of a 20-year veteran coach the way he handled the situation. Having played and coached (graduate assistant) under Bear Bryant had a positive effect, because Ford sensed Hayes’ career might be over. He showed respect for Hayes after the game and made sure to convey that to Bauman and his players, who made no inflammatory comments to the media after the game. If Ohio State was going to fire Coach Hayes, he did not want comments made in the media by his players to have an impact. The next day, Ohio State fired Hayes. Ford had a unique ability to motivate his players. He was a disciplinarian who worked his team hard. In the days before the 20-hour rule (maximum amount of practice and meeting time we have today), he would be known to start a practice over again after the team was an hour into the workout if things weren’t going well. Two-a-Days in August camp? How about three-a-days. He was tough, but his players respected him. That hard work and respect went hand-inhand in his ability to get the Tigers ready for highly ranked opponents led by legendary coaches. In his 11 years as Clemson’s head coach he led the Tigers to a 21-7-1 record over coaches who are now in the Hall of Fame, a 75 percent winning mark. That list includes Dan Devine of Notre Dame, Joe Paterno of Penn State, the aforementioned Woody Hayes of Ohio State, Barry Switzer of Oklahoma, Vince Dooley of Georgia (4 times), Tom Osborne of Nebraska and Bobby Bowden
FORD’S CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS • Led Clemson to a 96-29-4 overall record in 11 full seasons as head coach. His .760 winning percentage is best in school history among coaches who served at least three seasons. • Guided Clemson to the National Championship in 1981, the first team national championship in any sport in Clemson history. Was just 33 years of age when he won the title, still the youngest coach in college football history to win the national championship. • Led Clemson to six bowl wins in his career, and never had a losing season in his 11 full seasons. Five of the bowl wins were over Hall of Fame coaches. • Led Clemson to five ACC Championships (1981, 1982, 1986, 1987 and 1988), second most in Clemson history behind Frank Howard. • Coached Clemson to seven top-20 seasons, including three top-10 seasons. Led Clemson to top-20 final ranking in each of his last four years. • Coached Clemson to an 87-25-4 record in the 1980s, the fifth best overall record in college football for that decade based on winning percentage (.767). Clemson trailed only Nebraska, Miami (FL), BYU and Oklahoma for the decade. • Coached Clemson to a 52-14-1 record in conference games in the 1980s, the fifth best winning percentage in college football for that decade, trailing only Nebraska, Oklahoma, BYU and Michigan. • Had a 21-7-1 record against coaches now in the College Football Hall of Fame. • Coached Clemson to 38 wins between 1986 and 1989, an ACC record for wins in a four-year period at the time (that record has since been broken). • Eleven of his former players have won 13 Super Bowl Championship rings. SEPTEMBER 2013
of Florida State. That record does not into the Ring of Honor. It proved to include a 5-1 combined mark against be a special night for Ford and Clemson football in many ways. Frank Beamer and Steve Spurrier, who The ceremony was quite a celmost certainly will join the Hall of ebration, as former Clemson baseball Fame someday. coach Bill Wilhelm was also inducted. Of course, the 22-15 victory over Coach School Years Ford and Wilhelm helped Clemson Osborne’s Nebraska team in the 1982 Bobby Bowden Florida State 1989 dominate ACC football and baseball Orange Bowl was the pinnacle of his Jerry Claiborne Maryland 1981 in the 1978-89 era, and it was fitting coaching career because it culminated Kentucky 1982 that they were inducted together. a National Championship season, the Dan Devine Notre Dame 1979 “I am very appreciative of this honfirst in any sport in Clemson history. Vince Dooley Georgia 1979, 1981, 1986, 1987 or,” Ford said. “I feel a coach is less Just 33 years old at the time, he is still Woody Hayes Ohio State 1978 deserving of something like this than the youngest FBS coach to win the naDon Nehlen West Virginia 1989 Tom Osborne Nebraska 1981 tional championship. a player. They are the ones who did all Joe Paterno Penn State 1987 “We just took each game one at the blocking and tackling, the coaches Barry Switzer Oklahoma 1988 a time,” Ford said. “We didn’t look just try to direct them and draw up the George Welsh Virginia 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, ahead and people really didn’t think plays. 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 we could do it. We never became No. “My first thoughts are to all the 1 until Penn State beat Pittsburgh the players, assistant coaches, the fans, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.” support staff, the trainers and managers, the SID staff, and Jim Phillips (voice Jeff Davis confirmed that approach during the 1981 season. of the Tigers for Ford’s entire career) who “Coach Ford did a great job of making helped make us successful on the field. If sure we took it one game at a time,” he said. they look up in the stadium and see my “Now when we beat North Carolina in name and it gives them pride for what we Chapel Hill when we were both in the top accomplished, I am for it.” 10 and we moved to No. 2, it got a little The ceremony took place 10 minutes harder to do. But, he kept us grounded.” before kickoff. Clemson fans were in the The 1981 season is still one of the most stands well before kickoff, which led to a bizarre in college football history from an very special moment for national television when the Tigers ran down The Hill. I upset standpoint nationally. Seven different would have to bet that Ford’s induction had teams were No. 1 during the course of that a lot do with the early arriving crowd. season, still the most in one season in college football history. It certainly contributed to the atmosphere in Death Valley, among the best I It was a special night in Miami (FL) on have seen in 36 years at Clemson. January 1, 1982. There were some moments that day that led Ford to believe it It was also an evening of almost eerie Ford, who led the Tigers to the 1981 would not be Clemson’s night. During the circumstances. Clemson’s winning touchdown National Championship by winning day, Cliff Austin was stuck in an elevator at the was scored by No. 81 Stanton Seckinger. A the Orange Bowl over Nebraska, was team hotel for two hours. Later that night, he key recovery in the endzone was made by C.J. inducted into the bowl’s Hall of Fame in would score an important touchdown in the Jones, who wears No. 38, the number Wilhelm 2012. Photo by Rex Brown, IPTAY Media second period. wore. Nebraska was ranked fourth in the nation most in ACC history. Five of the wins were The victory over the fifth-ranked Bulldogs entering the game, while Clemson was first, over coaches in the Hall of Fame. was the sixth for Swinney against a top-11 He had 20 wins over top-25 teams, still the ranked team, tying him with Ford for the most Georgia second and Alabama third. Alabama lost in the Cotton Bowl earlier in the day, 14- Clemson record. He led Clemson to a streak top-11 victories in Clemson coaching history. 12, and then Pittsburgh beat Georgia, 24-20, of 41 consecutive weeks in the top 20 in the “I am so happy for Coach Ford,” said fellow while the Clemson-Nebraska game was in late 1980s. In seven seasons, he led Clemson Alabama alum Swinney. “It was a special night, to a top-25 final ranking. He coached 26 All- and everything was so fitting. It was fitting that progress. Had Nebraska beaten Clemson, the Corn- Americans and 71 first-team All-ACC players. he was inducted prior to a Clemson-Georgia He finished with a record of 96-29-4, a 76 game, because those games were legendary huskers would have vaulted all the way to No. 1. Many Clemson fans worried that Georgia percent winning mark that is second in ACC when he was the coach here. loss would give Nebraska extra motivation. history behind Bobby Bowden, whom he beat “Winning the national championship is the But, Ford’s defense dominated most of the the last time he faced him in Tallahassee, FL greatest accomplishment in this program’s history, and we are all trying to get there. game. When Andy Headen batted down a des- in 1989. Ford is proud of all of his former players, peration pass, Clemson had the title. “Coach Ford established a standard; he told Obviously that victory over the Cornhusk- but he must hold some extra pride for those Clemson that you can do it here. I have always ers was the highlight of Ford’s career in terms who went on to successful NFL careers. Eleven had great respect for Coach Ford. He coached of on field results. But there were many other former players won Super Bowl Championship at Arkansas after he left Clemson, but he has significant seasons and victories. He would rings. always been loyal and committed to Clemson. lead Clemson to six total bowl victories, still Many of Coach Ford’s former players were He’s always gone above and beyond to help our the most in Clemson history and the second- with us on August 31 when he was inducted program.”
Ford’s Victories over Coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
A Well Executed Play That Racks Up A Win. That’s Logistics. The coach makes the call. Every player is in the right place at the right time. The score is made. And the huge crowd roars its approval. That’s logistics. The coordination of personnel and equipment designed to achieve the best possible results. At UPS, we understand logistics. We live logistics. We love logistics.
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AND Clemson shines on and off the field under the brightest national spotlight in recent memory by Steven Bradley , IPTAY Media photos by Rex Brown , IPTAY Media 26
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
n the night Danny Ford was inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor, the player who scored the decisive touchdown for the Tigers wore 81 on his jersey. That happenstance seemed only fitting, as it drew a figurative straight line between the past, present and future of the football program on what had been one of the most special nights — and days — it had experienced since Ford’s tenure. Stanton Seckinger’s number, of course, corresponded with the year the iconic coach led the program to its only national championship, and the victory also came against Georgia, arguably the Tigers’ fiercest rival in that era. “It was a special night for Clemson,” current Head Coach Dabo Swinney said. “I’m happy for Coach Ford to finally be inducted into the Ring of Honor. It was awesome to see all of our former players back, too. That is Clemson. It was just an awesome night.” Swinney was speaking from the team room inside the WestZone early the following morning after Clemson became the first non-SEC team in college football history to defeat two top-10 SEC opponents in back-to-back games with its 38-35 win over the Bulldogs. The striking coincidences didn’t end with Seckinger scoring the fourthquarter touchdown that gave the Tigers the only double-digit lead of the game. Walk-on defensive back C.J. Jones also made a crucial play that tied the circumstances of the Ring of Honor ceremony together perfectly. On the ensuing possession after Seckinger’s touchdown, Clemson had seemingly seized control of the game when its defense forced Georgia to punt. But the kick landed inside the 10-yard line, bounced off a Tiger player and into the end zone, where the Bulldogs could have recovered for a gamechanging touchdown. Instead, Jones scooped up the ball on the dead run, carried it out of the end zone to the nine-yard line and may have saved the day for Clemson in the process. It was the only appearance in the game all night for Jones, who wears No. 38, the same number worn by the late Bill Wilhelm, the legendary Clemson baseball coach who was posthumously inducted into the Ring of Honor along with Ford that night.
(At left) Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit share a laugh in front of thousands of Tiger faithful. (Middle) ESPN College GameDay visited Clemson for the opener versus the Bulldogs. It was the second such appearance on Bowman Field for the popular weekly show. (At bottom) Head Coach Dabo Swinney made an appearance on the show with ESPN’s Samantha Ponder.
“I could not think of a better person to go into the Ring of Honor with than Bill Wilhelm,” Ford said. “When I first became the head football coach he was someone I looked to for guidance. Everyone had so much respect for him.” Another historical parallel involved current Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and another former All-ACC quarterback, Homer Jordan, who served as one of the honorary captains. With the win, Boyd moved into a tie for fourth place in Clemson history for wins by a starting quarterback with 22. The quarterback he tied was Jordan, the signal-caller for the 1981 team. The victory over the then-No. 5 Bulldogs was Clemson’s sixth victory over a team ranked in the top 11 of the Associated Press poll under Swinney, which tied him for first place in school history in that category. The coach he tied was inducted into the Ring of Honor that night.
manned the No. 1 position in line for last year’s South Carolina game. “One of my buddies set up the tent, and we each took a night,” said Nathan, who hails from Boston. “When he sent me that picture of us with the first tent, I was jumping for joy.” Two tents down from Nathan was senior Taylor Swing, whose roommate had made out a schedule for their group to sleep in shifts and man the tent. Like Nathan, Swing is also a four-year member of Collegiate Club, and she said she’d made some of her best friends while camping out for tickets. “There’s nothing like cheering from the front row for a game,” said Swing, a native of Charlotte, NC. “It sends chills down your spine.”
he game was the first battle of top-10 teams to open a season in Clemson history, and both were looking to ascend even higher in the polls. But two full weeks before that game kicked off inside Memorial Stadium, students began jockeying for position in a different pecking order just outside — the line for tickets. With tents set up in the median across from the IPTAY Center, stretching down the Avenue of Champions toward Fike Recreation Center, wrapping around the corner of Williamson Road and up the ramp to Gate 20 of the stadium, the first tent of IPTAY Collegiate Club members awaiting tickets was erected Aug. 17. Six days later, Swinney paid the inhabitants of the tent village a surprise visit around 7 AM, when most of them were still bleary-eyed and in their pajamas. With the help of IPTAY staff members, the head coach handed out doughnuts to make sure his most fervent supporters were well nourished as they awaited tickets. “That’s the passion that makes Clemson special, that people would do that,” Swinney said.
“It’s just amazing, and this is just the group that’s already IPTAY members.” The No. 1 spot in line for tickets belonged to senior Aaron Nathan and his tent mates, who are no strangers to such campouts. Nathan camped out for his first football game as a freshman at Clemson after joining IPTAY Collegiate Club almost immediately upon arriving on campus, and he and his buddies also
he atmosphere in Clemson the first time ESPN “College GameDay” visited in 2006 ranked among the top five of the last decade, according to longtime producer Lee Fitting, but that previous visit likely moved down a notch after its return visit for the Georgia game. “It was a sea of orange as far as we could see,” said Fitting, the senior coordinating producer in his 10th season with the show. On the eve of the iconic college football preview show’s long-awaited return to Clemson, Fitting expected the atmosphere to blow that previous visit out of the water. “If this isn’t the all-time best GameDay crowd,” he said, “I’d be disappointed.” Safe to say he wasn’t. SEPTEMBER 2013
ESPN’s technical crew rolled into Clemson on Aug. 28, one day ahead of its normal routine since it was an opening-week game — the first on-campus “GameDay” in the first week of a season since 2007 — and began setting up. The show aired live from Bowman Field three days later from 9 AM to 1 PM, the first fourhour broadcast in “College GameDay” history. “It’s one of the best places for college atmosphere in the country, no question about it — Clemson, South Carolina,” said Lee Corso, who joined ESPN in 1987 and is the only remaining original “College GameDay” on-air personality. David Pollack was a defensive end at Georgia and just the second Bulldog to be named a three-time All-American — Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker was the first — before being a first-round NFL draft pick. But when a neck injury cut his playing career short, Pollack got into broadcasting and has been on the “College GameDay” crew since 2011. Even with Clemson clashing with his alma mater, Pollack said the Tigers’ football program is one he believes is definitely on the rise. “I love (Swinney’s) youthful exuberance, his excitement,” he said. “It’s really refreshing to see somebody in this business that says, ‘You know what? I’m going to enjoy this.’ If you start to look at their roster and the improvement of their roster and him taking over and the firsts that they’ve been able to accomplish with backto-back 10-win seasons, I believe that everything about Clemson’s arrow is pointing up.”
y the time “GameDay” went off the air, the typically small college town of Clemson had transformed into something more resembling a major metropolitan area with still more than seven hours remaining until kickoff. The football team itself had been secluded from the bedlam that began on Bowman Field and eventually spread all across campus until its buses arrived outside Lot 5 in front of Memorial Stadium a little more than two hours before kickoff. When they stepped off the bus, even the most veteran Tigers were blown away by the atmosphere. “It was crazy,” junior receiver Sammy Watkins said. “They welcomed us in. The fans were really crazy, and I was excited. It was the greatest moment I have ever seen since I have been here.” By the time the banner was dropped on the façade of the South Upper Deck of Memorial Stadium to reveal Ford’s name with the image of his iconic orange cap with a block letter “C” beside it, the stadium had been packed for
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
quite some time. The official attendance was 83,830, which ranks as the 11th best attendance in Memorial Stadium history and the largest crowd ever for a Clemson-Georgia game at Memorial Stadium. “It was incredible,” senior linebacker Spencer Shuey said. “I think this was the only game since I’ve been here that I’ve actually seen every seat taken up. Normally in the upper deck the top corners will be a little empty, but I couldn’t even see the stairwells in the bottoms. People were just packed out. It was an incredible gameday experience, and the atmosphere was unbelievable.”
he Tigers arrived at the top of The Hill at 8:18 PM, and one minute later, the cannon fired to signal its members to proceed down. When they did, Georgia’s players came over from their sideline to the base of The Hill to greet the Tigers as they reached the playing surface. No confrontation ever developed, however, largely because Clemson’s players either didn’t notice or didn’t acknowledge the Bulldogs were even there. “Oh, they were at the bottom of The Hill? Georgia was? I didn’t even know that,” defensive end Corey Crawford said when asked about the incident after the game. Of course, running down The Hill is one of the most iconic traditions in sports, and
Sammy Watkins sparked the Tigers to a 38-point night in the win over No. 5 Georgia with this 77-yard catch and run on Clemson’s second possession.
broadcaster Brent Musburger dubbed it the “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football” in 1985. Musburger was again on the call for the Georgia game along with analyst Kirk Herbstreit on the ABC Saturday Night Football series, the highest-rated and most-viewed college football series on any network the previous year. When the Bulldogs made their way over to bark at the Tigers as they came down The Hill, Musburger quipped about the spectacle, “Even Georgia had to take a peek.” The game between Georgia and Clemson was the most-watched season opener since 2006 for ABC, which usually devotes its Saturday nights in the fall to college football, with 8.1 million viewers.
rawford had a dream leading up to the game in which he stepped in front of an Aaron Murray pass and created a momentum-changing turnover. But being a 270-pound defensive end without an interception in his career, Crawford didn’t put much stock into the dream — until it came true. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 ���
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clock and took the first and only double-digit lead either team had all night when Seckinger tight-roped the sideline and stuck the football inside the pylon for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.
“I was shocked that I got it just like everybody else,” he said. Clemson’s defense allowed 545 yards of total offense and five touchdowns against Georgia’s high-pow(At right) Swinney ered offense, but made the congratulates plays that were the difference running back Zac in the game, such as CrawBrooks on his first ford’s interception just before career touchdown, a 31-yard halftime to keep the game reception from tied. Boyd in the third The night certainly started quarter. inauspiciously for the Clemson defense, as Bulldogs star (Below) Tajh Boyd running back Todd Gurley accounted for rumbled 75 yards nearly un312 yards of total touched on the first play of offense and all their second possession, and five of Clemson’s Georgia scored on three contouchdowns in secutive drives to take its first the victory over lead of the night early in the Georgia. second quarter. But after giving up 21 points and 267 yards on Georgia’s first four possessions, Clemson’s defense held the Bulldogs without a single first down on six straight series. “That’s not East Popcorn State that we just played,” Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables said. “With the team Georgia had — six drives in a row? That’s pretty good. I think it says a lot about the character of our guys.” Over a span of 15:29 across the halftime interval, Clemson’s defense held Georgia’s star-studded attack to 16 total yards. With penalties added in, the Bulldogs actually netted minus-28 yards on offense over that span. “We just played better,” Venables said. “It’s amazing how it looks when 11 guys do what they’re supposed to do.” Perhaps the defense’s biggest stand came with the Tigers ahead 31-28 late in the third quarter and the Bulldogs with a first-and-goal from the Clemson 5. “It was a great victory,” Boyd said. “It was Garry Peters, Shuey and Travis Blanks came something I knew we could accomplish as a up with tackles for short gains on three straight program and as a team, and we’ve just got to snaps and forced Georgia into a field-goal atcontinue to grow from it. This is a long season, tempt to try to tie the game. But the snap was but at the end of the day you always want to high and holder Adam Erickson was forced to start out with a bang.” fall on it, turning the ball over to the Tigers. “That was huge,” Crawford said. “That was hen the dust settled from the win, another turning point because it looked like the Tigers were ranked No. 4 in the they were going to gain momentum in the AP poll the following week, their game.” On the very next possession, the Tigers highest ranking since 1988, and they also remarched 87 yards on 12 plays, ran 4:23 off the ceived a first-place vote in the balloting for the
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
first time since the preseason of 1991. While those laurels were nice, Swinney said what was important was what he saw on the field from his team in the game. “We are night and day, light years ahead after one ball game this year than we were after one ball game last year,” Swinney said. “It’s really not even close. To go back and look where we were after one game last year — we were happy we found a way to win that game (against Auburn), but we’re just better. We were starting over on the offensive and defensive lines, and we weren’t very good. “We are much, much, much better this year
than we were this time last year. That team last year was pretty good. They won 11 games and did some great things. But here’s the deal: That team got better and better and better all through the year. The challenge to this year’s team is — will you improve? Will you stay focused? Will you stay committed to our standard and our formula? If this team will do that, then we’ve got a chance to have a special year.” If they do, they will look back to a special night — and day — on Aug. 31 when it all began.
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ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
CHANGING THE STORY
Clemson native Ara Amirkhanian and his teammates aim to return Tiger soccer to nation’s elite by Schuyler Easterling photos by Rex Brown , IPTAY Media
s a young boy, Ara Amirkhanian used to wander to the gates of Historic Riggs Field in awe, listening to the roars of approval from Tiger Nation during Clemson soccer games. Now, 15 years later, he’s the one giving Tiger Nation something to shout about as the starting junior midfielder for the orange and white. “I grew up right down the street,” said a beaming Amirkhanian. “I could literally run from my house to Riggs. I’ve been going to games here since I was five years old, and it has always been my dream to play here — it’s sometimes surreal that I’m actually able to live my dream.” So far in 2013, the young soccer season has been a surreal experience for Clemson fans — providing a flashback to the glory days of Tiger soccer. After jumping out to
Ara Amirkhanian, a local product, is a starting midfielder for the men’s soccer team.
a hot 6-0 start — including an overtime victory over South Carolina and an upset win over No. 21 Virginia — the Tigers catapulted themselves into the top 5 of the Soccer America poll. With a talented group of newcomers and solid crop of returning playmakers, the potential for a program-changing season was something Amirkhanian first began to witness over the summer. “I saw something different in the mentality of this year’s team than in years past,” he said. “There’s been a shift — we’re focused on being winners and are determined to change this program back to where it’s used to being. We want (At right) to make some noise this Amirkhanian helped the Tigers to a 2-1 year.” double overtime If the Tigers continue victory over rival to streak, they won’t South Carolina on just be making noise Labor Day night. — they’ll be making a (Below) statement. In part, the Amirkhanian and reason for Clemson’s the Tigers earned early success has been a top-10 national the incredible playmakranking from ing ability of AmirkhaSoccer America nian — although the after a strong start ever-humble Clemson to the season. native would be the first to deny it. “Ara scores big goals at big times,” said Clemson Head Coach Mike Noonan following the Tigers’ win over Virginia — a match in which Amirkhanian scored a crucial goal. “I’m really proud at how he’s continued to grow as a player. He scored a huge goal last year in the ACC semifinals and he’s done a great job so far this year. He puts himself in a position to be successful and works so hard. Every game Ara plays, he just seems to get better and better.” In fact, improvement is exactly what has defined Amirkhanian’s career. As a freshman in 2011, Amirkhanian notched one goal and one assist for the year, playing in 18 games and starting 12. Displaying flashes of brilliance on the pitch, the Clemson coaching staff knew something was special about the speedy midfielder from Daniel High School. However, it was the breakout performances in Amirkhanian’s sophomore campaign that
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
garnered the attention of the Clemson fan base. In an incredible transformation, Amirkhanian blasted onto the scene with five goals — second-best on the team. Even more impressively, two out of the five goals scored by Amirkhanian were game-winners. It seemed that no matter the pressure or the game, “crunch time” became “Amirkhanian time.” In the team’s would-be final game of the sea-
son, Amirkhanian sent a message to the rest of the conference when he booted a beautiful goal against No. 2 ranked Maryland in the ACC semifinals. Although losing a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker to the eventual ACC Champions, the goal did more than just light up bulbs on a scoreboard — the goal showed that no matter the opponent, no matter the circumstances,
Clemson was going to give you its best shot. This year, Clemson has certainly done that and more — it’s been winning. Clemson’s return to the polls is the first time since 2007 that the Tigers have been nationally ranked. For a proud program that has historically been one of America’s elite, the national rankings are a sign of progress and another step in the right direction. However, Amirkhanian and the rest of the Clemson squad aren’t content or satisfied with the early success. “We want to bring back a strong culture of winning here,” he said. “We’ve had tough seasons the past few years and we’ve struggled to win. Our motto this year is, ‘Changing the Story.’ We want to get everyone in the right mindset, have everyone focused, and protect our home field here at Riggs. We want to leave a legacy of strong-minded individuals who are focused on the task at hand and can take care of business. I believe we’re ready to do that this season.” The Clemson University community can almost sense the new mentality, too. Excitement around the soccer program is the highest it’s been in recent years, and the atmosphere surrounding newly renovated Riggs Field has been nothing short of rambunctious. “Playing in Riggs this year has been absolutely incredible,” said a chuckling Amirkhanian. “This place is definitely one of the best in the country. With the new renovations, I haven’t seen a better stadium for college soccer. Our fans have also been unbelievable. They have packed this place and made it a tough place to play for our opponents. It inspires us and gives us motivation to protect this place and win at home.” Winning at home is something the most successful Clemson teams have all done, and their legacies are a constant reminder that best is the standard for Tiger soccer. The walls of Historic Riggs Field are adorned with championship banners proudly proclaiming 13 ACC Championships, 26 NCAA Tournament appearances, 22 NCAA Final Sixteens, 12 Final Eights, seven Final Fours and two National Championships. With a hometown boy leading the charge, the Tigers want to snag at least one more banner in 2013. “The story of Ara Amirkhanian is pretty special,” Noonan said. “His dad was a professor here in the engineering department, and he was one of the first people I met when I got here. I’m proud when he scores big goals, and I’m just proud of him and his maturity. He’s a straight-A student. He does a lot of really, really good things.” And perhaps for Amirkhanian, the best of the “really, really good things,” are yet to come.
CLEMSON BASKETBALL, ITALIAN STYLE
Tigers Create ‘Significant Memories’ On and Off the Court During 10-Day Foreign Tour
t was a Sunday, and some friends and I had just come from a gathering in St. Peter’s Square in Rome to hear Pope Francis speak to a crowd of thousands. Upon leaving the square, I was approached by a young man who noticed my orange-clad shirt and exclaimed “Whoa, Clemson?!” Five thousand miles from our university nestled in the rural Northwest corner of South Carolina, a 2012 graduate proudly displayed his class ring and was genuinely excited to find a group of Clemson people in the middle of one of the most famous worship sites in the world. It wasn’t the only time during the 10 days in August the men’s basketball team spent touring Italy that a Clemson connection surfaced. But it was a connection representative of the fact that Tiger Nation can show up even in the most unexpected time or place. My purpose in relaying that story is to convey that while such connections made for some memorable moments, it was the connections built between the players and coaches that make up the 2013-14 men’s basketball team that best defined the Tigers’ Italian excursion. The team visited five different
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
story and photos by Philip Sikes cities throughout the trip, and the paragraphs that follow illustrate just how those connections brought everyone with a stake in the program closer together. WHEN IN ROME… ordan Roper endured arguably the most difficult offseason of any player. While I won’t go into detail of what the rising
sophomore experienced, it was a setback that had some within the program wondering whether or not he would ever suit up again for the Tigers. He went nearly two months without any physical basketball activity before joining his teammates for individual workouts during the first summer session in June. The trip to Italy was an important one for Roper, to see where he stood physically and if he had any lingering effects from the offseason setback. Well, in true Roper fashion, he didn’t miss a beat. In Clemson’s opening exhibition game against the Pesre All-Stars, he poured in a game-high 21 points. He officially announced his return when, after corralling a loose ball rebound, he drove the lane and dunked on a 6-foot-8 Italian player to bring the Clemson crowd to its feet. It was a moment that uplifted his Tiger teammates. “It was good to see him being able to make high caliber players like that,” said Roper’s close friend The men’s basketball team spent 10 days in Italy during the month of August and found several Clemson connections. Above, the team is in front of one of the many Esso gas stations. The iconic logo, of course, can be seen prominently back home in Clemson as well.
and roommate, Jaron Blossomgame. “After the dunk, I knew he was back to normal.” Roper’s pronounced return was undoubtedly one of the feel-good moments on the court from Rome, the first stop of the tour. But it was off the court where the bonding and camaraderie started to take shape. We spent three days in Italy’s capital city, two of which were heavy on touring some of the famous sights Rome had to offer. The Clemson contingent spent 75 minutes on a walking tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum before we even checked in to our hotel on August 9. The next day, we spent over three hours at the Vatican, learning its history through the museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. After touring, the players spent most of their time hanging out in the hotel or eating pizza at nearby restaurants. “One of the really neat things to see,” said Aaron Dunham, Clemson’s associate director of major gifts, “was when we came back from dinner one night in Rome, and all 12 players were down there together just hanging out at the hotel restaurant. And they weren’t just glued to their phones; they were laughing and cutting up.” The third and final day in Rome was an off day, meaning players, coaches and staff were free to tour on their own or simply relax and enjoy some down time. Associate Head Coach Mike Winiecki had other ideas. After taking his girlfriend, Marquita Brown, out to dinner at a nice restaurant, the two began walking the famous Spanish Steps. “I wasn’t sure how I was going to propose,” he said. “But the area had cleared out, I dropped to one knee, and she said ‘Yes.’ So it was a great night.” In fact, it was three great nights. UP ON THE ROOF unham spent most of his time on the trip with eight couples who were either already major gift contributors or prospective supporters of the program. It was in Florence, our second tour stop, that the relationship between the supporters and the coaches and staff strengthened. “In Florence, we’d be up on the rooftop of the hotel socializing until they closed it down,” he said. “I would watch Brad (Brownell) and
his wife, Paula, have an hour long conversation with Rick Erwin, one of our supporters. When else can that happen? Occasionally, Coach Brownell can visit with some of them at a football tailgate on Saturdays. But it’s never an extended stay. You can never replicate what took place.” Dunham pointed out that while most of the supporters had an existing relationship with
team’s academic person. It was a top to bottom, comprehensive view of the program. You realize what an operation it is, and the quality of the people involved.” The team spent two days in Florence on August 12 and 13. One of the high points took place before we even arrived. On the outskirts of the city, our bus stopped at Piazzale Michelangelo and we gathered for photos with the beautiful setting of the Arno River and the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge serving as the backdrop. Florence had arguably the best shopping of the entire Italian experience. It was always fun to watch as Clemson’s players did their best to try and negotiate lower prices for items in the open market surrounding our hotel. “The guys really enjoyed bargaining with the street vendors,” McKay said. MCDANIELS WOWS VICENZA CROWD o player made a bigger impact on the trip than rising junior K.J. McDaniels, and his impact was never bigger than when the Tigers took on the Vicenza All-Stars on August 14. “I think he had like 14 dunks,” said classmate Damarcus Harrison. “I was calling him Dominique Wilkins on the bench.” While the comparison to the “Human Highlight Reel” may have been a bit premature, he wowed the Vicenza crowd with a display of high-flying blocked shots and tip dunks. He finished with a gamehigh 20 points, and the instant fan favorite signed autographs and took pictures with the natives for a good 15 minutes after the exhibition. “I made a lot of fans over there,” McDaniels laughed as he recalled the experience. It was on the way to the game in Vicenza where we had an opportunity we could not pass up. Over the first two legs of the tour, we had seen several Esso gas stations. We happened to pass one in Vicenza, and at the urging of Paula Brownell, we unloaded the bus and the players and coaches took a photo in front of the station’s sign. Unless you have lived under a rock, you know what Esso has meant to the Clemson community! At the game itself, I noticed a couple in the
(At top) Head Coach Brad Brownell, wife Paula and daughters Abby (R) and Kate enjoyed one of the most popular tours in Rome, the Colosseum. (Above) Members of the team listen to University professor Dr. Greg Ramshaw explain some of the history behind the Colosseum.
Coach Brownell, it was in Italy where they gained an appreciation for the work done by the assistant coaches and support staff. “So many of them got to see what Lucas (McKay) does day to day as video coordinator,” Dunham said. “They got to eat meals with the trainer, Andy (McPherson), and his wife Catherine. They got to know Leslie (Moreland), the
crowd that was wearing Clemson apparel, but was not a part of our official travel party. As it turned out, a diehard fan and sergeant in the U.S. military by the name of Brandon Funder-
(Above and burke was stationed in Viat right) cenza and followed the TiThe team gers’ progress through the and staff tour. After the 83-67 win, on Piazzale Coach Brownell invited the young man to take a photo Michelangelo overlooking with the team. the city of The next morning, Lucas Florence. McKay woke up at 6:00 after deciding he wanted to capture sunrise from our hotel perch atop a mountain in Vicenza. As he approached the lobby of the Hotel Villa Michelangelo, he found four of our players asleep on chairs and couches. “The hotel only had wifi in the lobby,” McKay said. “The players woke up and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was going to watch the sun rise, and they said they were going. So the five of us – Austin Ajukwa, Rod Hall, Devin Coleman, K.J. McDaniels and myself – went out and took pictures of the sunrise in Vicenza.” Now if that’s not team bonding and camaraderie, I don’t know what is.
HELP FROM THE MAESTRO rad Brownell had never been to Europe before our trip to Italy. As we toured the various sights from city to city, I was often grouped together with he and his family, including his two children and his parents, Bob
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
and Genny. From my vantage point, he tried soaking in as much of the culture as anyone I came across on the trip. “The sightseeing, the historical perspective,
ever seen. It’s made up of a large group of tiny islands all connected by hundreds of bridges throughout the city, which sits well below Adriatic Sea level. In my estimation, two things stood out from our experience in Venice. First, we were blown away at the fact it cost one Euro – about $1.32 In U.S. currency – per visit to use the public restroom. Second, and more importantly, we were blown away by the tour of an authentic Venetian glass factory. Upon arrival, we were taken to the factory and escorted to the room where the glass master – or “Maestro” according to his t-shirt – worked. Within a couple of minutes, he had spun a ball of fire and shaped a small horse in an impressive glass making demonstration. It was easily a hit with our group, as I looked around to cameras, phones and iPads filming the Maestro at work. We spent the better part of seven hours in Venice, a memorable and necessary part of the full Italian experience.
WHAT FEAR OF HEIGHTS? n August 16, our group arrived at our fifth and final destination, Como. Our hotel was situated near the harbor of Lake Como, with mountains flanking all directions from outside our room windows. (At left) One of the points of interest Following was what basically amounted to a the win over the Vicenza train that transported people from All-Stars, the harbor to the top of the neighthe team boring mountain, some 2,300 feet gathered for above sea level. A group of proa photo with gram supporters, coaches and staff Sgt. Brandon enjoyed the ride up to take in the Funderburke, views above Como. But somea Clemson thing, rather someone, was missing. fan stationed “In Como, we had the tram ride in the city. up to the top of the mountain,” Dunham said. “Brad was battling his fear of heights, initially. He came up late and seeing a different culture was really good with Paula, and everybody clapped when he for our team,” he said. “We all learned a lot, got off because we were sitting right there at and appreciate America a little bit more after the restaurant overlook. our experience.” “We told him it was no worse than taking That appreciation likely stemmed from our a Clemson plane through a thunderstorm to a trip to Venice on August 15. A unique city to Prowl & Growl!” say the least, its landscape and lifestyle vastly differed from that of anything our groups had
CONTINUED ON PAGE 42 ���
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The first night in Como, we went out to dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant with our entire group for the first time – players, coaches, staff and supporters. When the players were dismissed, each one of them greeted Steve and Kathy Cawood with handshakes and hugs as they celebrated their 38th anniversary. Steve and Kathy live in Clemson, and their nephew Drew, is the founder and owner of Event Partners, Inc. (EPI), the company that covers security at our home games. We had a busy final day in Italy, starting with a boat tour of Lake Como on the morning of August 17. The groups split up into two boats and were given a quick lesson on the history behind some of the massive villas that border Lake Como, including one owned by famous American actor George Clooney. We even saw a villa owned by the royal family of Saudi Arabia. It’s safe to say Lake Como was one of the most impressive sights any of us had seen in our lifetime. To conclude the trip, the team had its fourth and final exhibition game in a neighboring town that night. The Clemson family was again alive and well, as a current member of the school’s rowing program was part of the crowd on hand to watch (At right) The players (Devin Coleman and Rod Hall, far right) enjoyed travelling to the city of Venice by water taxi. (Below) The final tour stop was at Lake Como, and the team gathered in the harbor square for a photo.
the Tigers play. Aurelia Wurzel, a junior for Robbie Tenenbaum’s team and a Como native, brought her older sister along and took pictures with the team after it rolled to a convincing 50-point win.
s we boarded the flight home on August 18, I couldn’t help but think of the folks that made our experience as wonderful as it turned out to be. Basketball Travelers and Dream Team Italy were instrumental in getting us from place to place, and in arranging our tour guides, hotels and meals throughout the excursion. The 10-day trip was a privilege for each member of the travel party, particularly the 12 players that will help make up Clemson’s 2013-14 roster. In his analysis of the tour, Brownell did not lose sight of that fact. “I know our guys enjoyed it and really bonded well,” he said. “The camaraderie creates significant memories.” The memories from Italy in August of 2013 are ones that will last a lifetime.
��� ITALY EXHIBITION SUMMARY
STATISTICAL LEADERS Points Per Game: Roper 16.0, McDaniels 15.0, Harrison 11.0 Rebounds Per Game: Smith 13.0, Nnoko 11.5, McDaniels 9.3 Assists: Roper 16, Filer 11, Hall 10 Blocked Shots: McDaniels 12, Nnoko 11 Steals: Harrison 10, Roper 10, Filer 9 Game 1: Clemson 80, Pesre All-Stars 45 LEADERS Points: Roper 21, Coleman 13, McDaniels 10 Rebounds: Smith 14, Nnoko 10 Assists: Filer 4, Hall 3, Roper 3 BROWNELL’S TAKE “Jordan (Roper) played really well. His speed is really good in the open court. He had more assists in the four-game stretch than any time last year. He shot at a very high clip as well.” Game 2: Clemson 103, Dream Team Italy 58 LEADERS Points: Roper 19, McDaniels 14, Ajukwa 11, Coleman 11, Filer 10 Rebounds: McDaniels 11, Smith 10 Assists: Roper 4, Filer 3, Harrison 3 BROWNELL’S TAKE “It was good for him (Devin Coleman) to get four games in. His injury affected his movement defensively from a lateral standpoint. But he’s got an aggressive scoring mentality that we need.” Game 3: Clemson 83, Vicenza All-Stars 67 LEADERS Points: McDaniels 20, Harrison 18, Nnoko 11, Roper 10 Rebounds: Nnoko 19, McDaniels 9, Smith 9 Assists: Roper 5, Coleman 3, Hall 3 BROWNELL’S TAKE “Landry (Nnoko) played well on the trip, especially defensively. He blocked shots, and he and Josh (Smith) rebounded the ball at a high level. If you can defend and rebound the position, that’s going to be vitally important.” Game 4: Clemson 115, Airte 65 LEADERS Points: Hall 16, McDaniels 16, Roper 14, Smith 12, Coleman 11, Rooks 11 Rebounds: Smith 19, Nnoko 11, McDaniels 9 Assists: Roper 4, Fields 3, Filer 3, Hall 3 BROWNELL’S TAKE “Jordan Roper, K.J. McDaniels and Damarcus Harrison played consistently well in every game. Other guys experienced some success, and that was really good. Guys played faster and were aggressive in our approach. We looked at a few different combinations because we only had two big guys. It was good to see our guys get good experience and some confidence.”
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
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WORTH THE WAIT
(Above) Spencer Shuey had a team-high 18 tackles in the season opener against No. 5 Georgia. Photo by Rex Brown, IPTAY Media (Opposite page) Shuey was named the ACC’s Linebacker of the Week after his performance versus the Bulldogs. Photo by Dawson Powers
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
After biding his time, Shuey emerges as catalyst in Tigers’ defensive revival by Steven Bradley
n a breezeless, baking early September afternoon, Spencer Shuey strode through the parking lot outside Clemson Memorial Stadium directly in front of the WestZone. The senior linebacker had walked a similar route three days earlier when the team made its ceremonious entrance into Death Valley with its now-traditional Tiger Walk two hours and 15 minutes prior to its season opener, and the lot, known as Lot 5 on game days, had been jam packed with fans reveling in the pregame festivities.
, IPTAY Media
Plenty had changed for Shuey and the Tigers in the interim. As he made his way inside the facility and out of the heat Sept. 3, the lot now filled with the cars of students scurrying to class and media members who had come for Head Coach Dabo Swinney’s news conference to preview that week’s game against South Carolina State, Shuey received a congratulatory text message from his father. He wasn’t quite sure why initially, but it turned out Shuey had been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Linebacker of the Week for his performance in the Tigers’ win over then-No. 5 Georgia. But despite being one of the stars of the game, when Shuey sat down to meet with the media minutes after receiving that text from his father, it was the first time he had done interviews since the win over the Bulldogs. He simply hadn’t had anything left in the tank after the game that night. “It was an extremely physical game, and I felt like I could barely stand up,” he said. “After the game, it was just extremely emotional and an extremely exciting moment for us, and I just wanted to spend that with my teammates and family. I had to go see the trainer a few times because I was cramping a little bit. But it was definitely worth it.” That feeling wasn’t anything new for Shuey in the wake of a big game.
huey was a “glorified” fullback in a wingT offense and an old-school, hard-nosed linebacker on defense during his days at South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, NC, where he had 1,260 rushing yards and 16 scores along with 94 tackles and 10 tackles for loss as a senior. Racking up stats like that meant Shuey rarely took a play off on either side of the ball, though he says he “occasionally” got a breather on special teams. “I would definitely come out of the games barely being able to walk and would wake up on Saturday mornings extremely sore,” he said. “But it was always worth it, especially when we won.” Shuey actually lettered in four sports — baseball, basketball, football and wrestling — during high school, but that was just a way of
life for him by that point. Mark and Karen Shuey made sure all of their kids grew up playing sports as much as they possibly could, the theory being that the more time they spent doing that, the less they could spend getting into trouble, according to Spencer. “My dad would always take us to work out and challenge us, whether it was basketball or two-hand touch football, or he’d set up a backstop for us in the backyard that my brother Preston and I would go pitch on it and hit against each other,” he said. “Everything revolved around sports, and we spent most of our time as kids outside and running around.” All that eventually paid off, as all three Shuey siblings earned the opportunity to play sports in college. Sister Stefani played basketball at Wingate College, while Preston played baseball at Francis Marion. “(My father) definitely instilled a lot of things in us, such as never giving up and staying committed to what we sign up for and staying out of trouble,” Shuey said. “He put some great values in us and allowed us to be successful in life.”
huey would eventually realize the sport that could pave his way to college was football, but his first love was baseball. He was named his team’s MVP on the diamond in high school and briefly considered playing both sports in college. Once he did focus on football and eventually earned his way on to the 2008 Shrine Bowl roster for the North Carolina squad, he still wasn’t heavily recruited prior to arriving in Spartanburg, SC, for the game. But Shuey was named defensive MVP of the Shrine Bowl, as he had seven tackles and two for loss, and caught the eye of Clemson’s coaching staff under new coach Swinney, who had just had the interim tag removed from his title weeks earlier. Clemson had sent Shuey a few recruiting letters prior to that, but in the wake of his Shrine Bowl performance, it gave him the opportunity to come to campus for an official visit on the weekend of the program’s annual year-end banquet. SEPTEMBER 2013
“I remember falling in love with the campus — how it’s close to Charlotte where I’m from, but far enough to kind of get away, and the great college town and just how well I was able to get along with the coaches and the players that were hosting me,” he said. As the official visit drew to a close and Shuey prepared for his exit interview with Swinney, he called his dad to devise a plan on what to do should Clemson extend a scholarship offer. When he walked into Swinney’s office, then in the McFadden Building on campus, and the offer was extended, Shuey committed on the spot.
WILL linebacker during spring practice in order to get Stephone Anthony back into the lineup. It might have been easy to be disheartened by being moved to a new position to accommodate a player he had beaten out for a job the year before, but Shuey focused on learning his new position. And in many ways, the move to WILL spoke (At left) Shuey was one of Clemson’s co-captains for the opener with Georgia. (Below) Shuey has gone from little-used reserve to a household name on Clemson’s defense. Photos by Rex Brown, IPTAY Media
huey red-shirted as a freshman at Clemson and was primarily a special teams player during his first two years of action, playing 106 snaps and making 36 tackles across the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He remained a backup as his junior year began, recording just 17 tackles through the first five games of the season. But Clemson struggled with its defensive assignments during the sixth game of the season against Georgia Tech’s confusing triple-option scheme, and the heady Shuey was inserted into the lineup at MIKE linebacker midway through the game. The Tigers still trailed early in the fourth quarter, but after they took a 38-31 lead with 10:29 to go, Georgia Tech fumbled the ensuing kickoff and was forced to fall on the ball at its own two-yard line. Two snaps later, Shuey diagnosed an option pitch and hauled down Orwin Smith in the endzone for a safety that gave a 40-31 lead to the Tigers, who had trailed 31-30 just moments before. Shuey took over the starting job at MIKE linebacker for the sixth game of the season, and by the end of the season had amassed 93 total tackles, just two shy of the team-leading total of Jonathan Willard, despite playing 181 fewer snaps than Willard. “It’s up to the coaches whether or not you’re going to play,” Shuey said. “You just try your best to show them that you deserve to play, and unfortunately for me it didn’t happen until my junior year. But when my number was called, I made sure I was prepared and was able to step up and make the plays to prove to them I was ready.”
espite being one of the catalysts to the defense’s turnaround in 2012, which culminated in holding then-No. 7 LSU to 219 yards and nine first downs in the Chickfil-A Bowl, Shuey was moved from MIKE to
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
“I just got a little wide and a little flat-footed, and just got kicked-out by the fullback,” Shuey said. “It was definitely my play to make.” He was credited with only one tackle in the first 16:44 of action, at which point Georgia had taken a 21-14 lead and already rolled up 267 yards of offense. But much like in 2012, once Shuey found his stride, so did the Clemson defense. Shuey had two tackles as Georgia went threeand-out on its ensuing drive, and after the Tigers were unable to capitalize and punted, Shuey came up with a fumble on the Georgia 16 three plays later that led to a tying touchdown. Shuey went on to record a team-high 18 tackles — making the first hit on 10 of them – and also recovered the critical fumble. He played 60 snaps from scrimmage in the game, meaning he had a tackle on nearly one-third of his snaps and made the initial contact with the ball carrier one out of every six plays. He also downed a punt at the Georgia three-yard line with a diving play on special teams late in the second quarter. “He’s just developed,” Swinney said of Shuey. “That’s what players do. He was ready for his opportunity as a junior. He played great for us last year and was one of the key guys to us having a successful season, and now he’s a fifth-year senior. He’s just gotten better and better.”
S volumes about the coaching staff’s faith in Shuey. It was his football IQ that allowed Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables to make the move, knowing he would have no trouble digesting the assignments at his new position, and that in turn would allow the defense to get its best linebackers on the field together. “He’s a great effort guy and real coachable, but the success that he’s had, the respect that he’s earned and obviously the experience that he’s had — I don’t have a confidence meter, but I think he’s a very confident player within the confines of our system,” Venables said. “And when you’re confident and sure of yourself, you’re there sooner rather than later all day — there being the football.”
he Clemson defense struggled to slow Georgia down early in the game Aug. 31, allowing touchdowns on three straight drives to fall behind 21-14. Shuey admitted one of those touchdowns was specifically his fault, as it was his blown assignment that allowed Todd Gurley to break free for a 75-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
huey arrived at Clemson as a member of the “Dandy Dozen,” the 12-player signing class Swinney had been able to piece together during the transition between former Head Coach Tommy Bowden and
himself. For the members of the “Dandy Dozen,” who have helped the Tigers snap a two-decade-long drought without an ACC title and achieve six wins over teams ranked in the top 11 during Swinney’s tenure, Shuey admitted there is a special bond. “To see how far that we’ve come since I was a freshman, to it being my first game as a senior, it was definitely an emotional moment,” Shuey said of the win over Georgia. And while that’s true for his entire signing class, perhaps none of its members could view the victory over Georgia as a more transcendental moment than Shuey, who had gone from seldom-used reserve who wondered if he’d ever get his shot, to taking a star turn in his first game as a senior in one of the program’s best victories in modern history. “It’s awesome looking back a couple of years ago and the outlook I had on it,” Shuey said. “It’s a blessing to see where I am now and realize that I’ve finally gotten that chance. To be able to step up and make those plays for our team is definitely a great feeling.”
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THE SETTING late-summer Lowcountry breeze had just finished drying the morning dew on the fairways and greens at Yeamans Hall Club when Ashlan Ramsey drained a downhill 15-footer for birdie on the par-4 fifth hole in the final round of the Cougar Classic. Just minutes later, playing in the last group of the day, Sloan Shanahan putted up the slope on the same green from 10 feet away. Her ball caught the lip, hugged the curve of the hole and dropped in for a birdie of her own. Ramsey had just played from the tee on the adjacent par-3 sixth hole as Shanahan came off the green, and the fellow Clemson freshmen locked eyes, bumped fists and put an arm around each other for a half-hug before going their separate ways.
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
The two players had competed against each other for years as junior golfers in the state of Georgia, and Shanahan’s putt quickly restored her two-stroke lead atop the individual leaderboard after Ramsey had trimmed it to one with hers. But the moment was clearly one shared between teammates instead of opponents. “Ashlan and I have built a great camaraderie,” Shanahan said. “I love her to death. We’re always together. We have a true competitive fire, but we have that look, like, ‘You’ve got it, girl. You go get ’em. There’s nothing you can’t do out there.’” And the Tigers nearly did the unthinkable that day — coming up one stroke short of notching their first-ever win in their first-ever tournament as a program. Both Ramsey and Shanahan had short birdie putts on the 18th green, and both putts hit
the hole. But both lipped out, and Clemson finished a single shot behind Florida. Those two shots were all that stood between the Tigers and the title, and the same could be said for the two golfers’ hopes of claiming individual medalist honors, too. At the end of the afternoon, Ramsey and Shanahan were reunited on the veranda at Yeamans Hall when they were called to accept the second-place trophy in the individual competition, which they shared at four-under par, and moments later they were joined by their Clemson teammates in accepting the second-place team trophy. “We came in as the underdogs, and no one Sloan Shanahan, pictured with Head Coach J.T. Horton, finished in a tie for second place individually with teammate Ashlan Ramsey in her first career tournament.
STANDARD Women’s golf program tees it up for the first time by Steven Bradley , IPTAY Media | photos by Rex Brown , IPTAY Media really expected us to be leading after the first two days,” Ramsey said. “I think a lot of it requires experience, and this is a great learning experience for us to learn how to handle the pressure and some of the factors that come into winning at the collegiate level.” • • • • • McKenzie Talbert knew she wanted to play golf at Clemson before she was even in high school. The only trouble was Clemson didn’t actually have a women’s program at the time. Ken Talbert had been raised in a family of South Carolina fans, but after a fateful trip as a youth to see the Gamecocks face the Tigers in Death Valley, he became a diehard Clemson fan instead. Naturally, Ken raised his daughter to be one, too. “I think my first onesie they put me in was a Clemson Tiger outfit,” McKenzie said. “I’ve always loved every second of it. I’ve been coming to football games during the regular season from the time I was 4 to 12 — every game, every season.” McKenzie’s talent for golf blossomed at an early age when her babysitter found her playing around with a set of plastic clubs and was amazed when the little girl began whacking balls across the street. The babysitter shared the story with Ken, who soon outfitted his daughter with a three-club set. But when her grandfather, Pete, heard his son had made such an investment on clubs for a young child, he wondered what the heck he was thinking.
Then Pete saw his granddaughter smashing balls into the woods behind her house. The Talberts had just built a house in a new neighborhood in Edgefield, SC, and two years later, a golf course was built nearby — more accurately, in their backyard. “It was just fate that it happened that way, and I’ve lived there ever since,” McKenzie said. By high school, McKenzie was the best junior player in the state. She was a threetime winner of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s Beth Daniel Player of the Year Award and also a three-time winner of the State AAA Championship. But whereas most junior golfers start making college plans early on in their high school careers, Talbert balked at even taking recruiting visits. She had heard rumors of Clemson starting a program, but knew she couldn’t commit to a coach that hadn’t even been hired. When J.T. Horton was officially announced as the first coach in Clemson women’s golf history on Aug. 23, 2011, Talbert was at the beach for a family vaca(Above) Lauren tion. But that didn’t stop her from picking Salazar was one up the phone and reaching out to Horton, of the first two and nine days later she arrived on campus players to sign for an official visit. with Horton’s That day, Sept. 1, when Horton offered program, along her a scholarship, she committed on the with fellow redspot. shirt freshman “Being the first was a big thing for me Taylor Ramsey. just because this is where I’ve always wanted (At left) to be, and I get to be the first,” she said. McKenzie “How much better does it get?” Talbert had two eagles in her first career tournament, including one on the par-five 15th hole during the final round of the Cougar Classic.
• • • • • Talbert was the program’s first-ever commitment, but two players who graduated high school a year earlier were its first-ever players. All six players on the Clemson roster are freshmen in terms of eligibility, but Taylor SEPTEMBER 2013
Ramsey and Lauren Salazar have the tag of red-shirt on that title, having arrived on campus last year and spent the year taking classes and working on their games. Even at the ripe old age of 19, Salazar said she and Ramsey consider themselves the “mothers of the group.” “They’re my babies,” joked Salazar, a native of Santa Clara, CA. “I call them babies, even though they’re only a year younger.” Ramsey and Salazar spent all of last year as the team’s only two members, meaning that they not only practiced and played together almost every day, but also lived together and attended many of the same classes. “I’ve probably played over 100 rounds with her just in the past year,” Salazar said. “We played three times a week every single week. We definitely got close, but I’m glad the other girls are here now, too. Six people are way better than two.” While Ramsey and Salazar might be the big sisters of the team, Ramsey is literally a big sister on the team. Her younger sister, Ashlan, was the most ballyhooed signee of the four true freshmen. That can’t be viewed as a slight to the other members of the signing class, however, as Ashlan was ranked the No. 1 amateur golfer in the world by Golfweek in August and would be more highly regarded than virtually any nonprofessional on Earth. Horton had recruited the Ramsey sisters during his previous role as the head coach at Tulane, where he resurrected the program after Hurricane Katrina halted it from the fall of 2005 until the fall of 2008.
Once Horton made the move to Clemson, closer to their hometown of Milledgeville, GA, the Ramsey sisters knew they’d found the program they wanted to be part of. “I can’t picture either of us being at a different school, and I’m so glad that we decided to come to school together,” Taylor said. “It’s different. But we have always been really close, and I’ve always pictured us playing on the same team together. It worked out where we got to do that, and I’m so glad it did.” • • • • • Jessica Hoang rounds out the Tigers’ sixplayer squad. She was a top-50 national recruit in her own right, giving Clemson the distinction of all four members of its 2013 signing class being top-50 recruits. Horton said his most important job upon being hired was to hit the recruiting trail running, and his efforts have clearly paid off. But he directed much of the credit for the program’s success in recruiting to Director of Golf and men’s coach Larry Penley. “Coach Penley has been a huge asset,” Horton said. “The best thing he could have possibly done for our program was put us under the same umbrella, so it gave us full access to the facilities, the golf courses. It built that immediate credibility as a program, and anytime you have that atmosphere, it’s increasing your opportunity to recruit better players.” That much was plenty evident at the Cougar Classic, and Shanahan got the program off to a strong start by striking the first shot in its history in the opening round, splitting the fairway on the par-4 first hole at Yeamans
Hall. She then hit the green with her approach and sank the putt to make the program’s first birdie. “I had a blast,” Shanahan said. “It was such an honor, and I’m so grateful that Coach Horton allowed me to do that. It was a really cool feeling. There was a lot of hype, a lot of adrenaline. I think it was probably the biggest drive I’ve ever hit on a first tee because I had so much adrenaline pumping through me.” • • • • • With the sun high in the late-afternoon sky and the Spanish moss that was hanging from the trees doing little to provide shade, Horton lingered for a moment to stare at the one shot that separated his team from Florida on the final Cougar Classic leaderboard. But the sting of seeing the single stroke that kept his Tigers from winning their first tournament was just about the only thing Horton had to be disappointed about with his team’s debut. The promise of such experiences was what Horton had been selling to his players — then potential recruits — as he tried to get the program off the ground. While the Cougar Classic represented the only first-ever tournament that Clemson’s women’s golf program will ever play, there are plenty of other firsts ahead. “What I sold was the opportunity to be an inaugural team at Clemson,” Horton said. “The thing I told these players is, ‘You can come here and set records and let people chase you, or you can go somewhere else and chase somebody else’s records. But if you want to set the bar for the future of this program for years and years along, you’re going to have the opportunity to come here and set every standard, every record you want, and let people chase you from here on out. And then one day when you want to bring your grandkids back here, you’re going to be able to say that I started the program for Clemson women’s golf and turned it into what it is today.’” Clemson was runner-up in the program’s first-ever women’s golf tournament, the Cougar Classic. (L-R) Assistant Coach Janine Fellows, Jessica Hoang, McKenzie Talbert, Ashlan Ramsey, Sloan Shanahan, Lauren Salazar and Head Coach J.T. Horton accept the second-place plaque at Yeamans Hall Club outside of Charleston, SC.
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
2013 SEASON OUTLOOK | MEN’S GOLF Be accountable! No excuses! Be a leader! That is the message from Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley to his 2013-14 men’s golf team. His squad is young, with just one senior and two juniors, but Penley feels there is no reason why his 31st team can’t compete for an ACC title, get to the NCAA Tournament, and be in the mix for a top-10 finish. “We need each player to push one another,” said Penley, who has taken the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament each of his previous 30 years in charge of the program. “We need a team of leaders, not just one guy.” Last year, the Tigers got off to a good start and held a top-25 ranking into the middle of the spring. But the season did not end well, as the Tigers finished 12th out of 14 teams at the NCAA Regional in Arizona. “Accountability is one word that comes to mind,” Penley said. “We have to go into each tournament with the attitude that we can compete for the championship and make it happen as a team. It takes everyone having the proper focus. We have the talent to be successful, but I won’t hesitate to shuffle the lineup to get the right combination.” Penley has a 10-man roster, including seven returning lettermen, four of whom are considered returning starters from last season. But, none are locked in a position on Penley’s lineup card.
“There will be stiff competition for the lineup,” he said. “The tournament qualifying will be extraordinary. The new freshmen will have a chance from the very beginning. They are talented players who are used to winning individually and in terms of team golf.” Carson Young and Austin Langdale are the two first-year freshmen that are expected to have an immediate impact on the program. They come to Clemson from nearby Pendleton High School, where they played many a round at Boscobel Golf Club, a prime practice location for the Clemson golf team for many years. “Carson and Austin are competitors who are not afraid to win golf tournaments. They have been practicing at the same course our team plays since they were little, and they are well aware of our tradition. They were born to be in our program. They know what our guys have built over the years. I know it is in them to be contributors to that tradition.” Clemson does have its top four stroke average players from last season returning, just the third time that has been the case in the last 14 years. Those four players combined for eight top-10 finishes a year ago, but no one had more than three. The leading returnee in terms of stroke average is Stephen Behr, a sophomore from Florence, SC. Behr finished with a 72.97 stroke average last season. He had seven rounds under par and three top10 finishes, and he was Clemson’s top golfer in 10 rounds. He posted a fourth-place finish at the Carpet Classic and a seventh-place effort at the Fighting Illini Classic against national fields to show his capabilities. His score counted in 27 of 29 rounds, the best percentage on the 2012-13 team. “Stephen spent the summer working on getting stronger. You Stephen Behr returns after leading the 2012-13 Tiger team in stroke average. Photo by Rex Brown, IPTAY Media
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
[ by Tim Bourret ] can tell he has a larger frame, yet he is more flexible and that should lead to greater distance.” Behr had a good summer on the course as well, capped by a fourth-place finish at the South Carolina Amateur. Miller Capps is another sophomore who had a solid rookie season. He tied for second
ATHLETES TO WATCH STEPHEN BEHR
So. • Florence, SC • Led the 2012-13 team with a 72.97 stroke average • Finished fourth at the South Carolina Amateur this past summer
So. • Denver, NC • Tied for second on the 2012-13 team with a 73.72 stroke average • Runner-up at the Carolinas Amateur this past summer
So. • Saluda, SC • Tied for second on the 2012-13 team with a 73.72 stroke average • Led last year’s team with 91 birdies
on the team in stroke average with a 73.72 figure, and had the top two performances in team tournaments by individuals last year with a pair of third-place finishes (Jerry Pate and Wolfpack Spring Invitational). His score
counted in 24 of 29 rounds, and he was second on the team with 90 birdies. “Miller might have had the best summer of all our returning players, so we certainly hope that continues this fall and spring. He
didn’t play a lot, but when he did he was outstanding.” Capps finished second at the Carolinas Amateur, sixth at the Rice Planters, third at the Cardinal Amateur and 10th at the North Carolina Amateur. Cody Proveaux, a classmate of Capps, had the exact same number of strokes in the same number of rounds, leading to a 73.72 stroke average as a freshman. He had just one top 10, a seventh-place effort at the U.S. Collegiate, one of the top fields Clemson faced all year. He led the team with 91 birdies and had the best score of the day eight times, second-most on the team. “Cody had a solid freshman year, but we look for more top 10s from him this season. He has the talent to compete at a high level.” The highlight of Proveaux’s summer was a third-place finish at his U.S. Open local qualifier and a Cody Proveaux is back for his sophomore season after posting more birdies than anyone on the roster last season. Photo by Rex Brown, IPTAY Meduia
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15th-place finish at the sectional. Billy Kennerly enters the 2013-14 season on a record run. The junior from Alpharetta, GA scored in the 60s in each of his last five rounds of the season, establishing a school record for consecutive rounds in the 60s. And those were in big tournaments, three rounds in the ACC and two in the NCAA. He was 10-under par for his last five rounds of the year and finished in the top two of both postseason events, the first Tiger to do that in seven years. Kennerly had an active summer that was highlighted by a fifth-place finish at the Palmetto Amateur. Blake Kennedy is another sophomore who had his moments last season. The native of Spartanburg, SC and Dorman High School played in four tournaments last year and posted a 74.42 average. He had a 67 in his second career round at the Jerry Pate Invitational and finished 11th in the national field with a 218 score. He also finished 11th at the Charleston Shootout playing as an individual. Thomas Bradshaw played in just two tournaments last season, but is the second most experienced golfer on the team. The native of Columbia, SC has played in 17 tournaments and 51 career rounds. A starter on two NCAA Tournament teams, he has had 15 rounds at par or better in his career. Hayden Garrett is the top student-athlete on the team with a 4.0 GPA. He played in just one tournament last year, but he tied for medalist honors. Playing as an individual at the Charleston Shootout in March, he had an even par 216 score over three rounds to tie for first. Parker Mills is a red-shirt freshman in 2013-14. The brother of former Clemson AllAmerican Corbin Mills sat out last season, but had a strong summer of 2013 as he won the Festival of Flowers in Greenwood for the second straight year. The aforementioned Young and Langdale, born just two days apart, have both had great high school and junior careers. Young has won the South Carolina State AA Championship each of the last two years. He won the Carolina Amateur in 2012 and this past summer he won the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley against a national field of 54 junior golfers. He then finished the summer by winning the South Carolina Amateur. He was the only active Clemson golfer to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. Langdale is a four-time runner-up at the AA State Championship, finishing second to Proveaux his first two years and second to Young the last two years. He beat Young to win the Azalea Amateur this past March and finished with a top 10 at the South Carolina Amateur. He also finished second to Young at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. “I knew last year would be a challenge with so many freshmen in the mix,” Penley said. “The guys have worked hard and played in a lot of competitive tournaments over the summer. We played average golf last spring. This team is ready to step it up.”
MEN’S GOLF SCHEDULE Date Event
Carpet Capital Classic
Fighting Illini Invitational
Olympia Fields, IL
Dick’s Challenge Cup Invitational Nashville, TN
Golf Club of Tennessee
Golf Club of Georgia
Westin Rio Mar Classic
Rio Mar, Puerto Rico Rio Mar Country Club
USCA Cleveland Classic
Palmetto Golf Club
Great Waters Course
Augusta State Invitational
Forest Hills Golf Club
Wolfpack Spring Open
Lonnie Poole Course
Uwharrie Point, NC Old North State Club
Prairie Dunes Country Club
May 27-Jun. 1 NCAA National 54
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Billy Kennerly enters the 2013-14 season on a record run. The junior from Alpharetta, GA scored in the 60s in each of his last five rounds of 2013, establishing a school record for consecutive rounds in the 60s. That is right, it was something D.J. Trahan, Jonathan Byrd, Lucas Glover, Kyle Stanley and Charles Warren all failed to accomplish. And those were in big tournaments, three rounds in the ACC Tournament and two in the NCAA. He was 10-under-par for his last five rounds of the year and finished in the top two of both postseason events, the first Tiger to do that in seven years. “Billy is a guy who is going to go out there and count just about every day,” said Head Coach Larry Penley. “He reminds me a lot of David May, who showed great improvement over his career. Billy is an outstanding ball striker who knows his capabilities. We expect a very good year from him.” Kennerly finished last year with a 74.0 stroke average. He led the team in rounds in the 60s with six and had a team best eight under-par rounds as well. He is not a long hitter, but he is accurate with a 70 percent rate of success when it comes to driving the ball in the fairway. The two year starter got his career off to a great start as a freshman when he had a 72.73 stroke average, the fifth best in Clemson history. Kennerly came to Clemson with a lot of experience, including participation in a PGA Tour event. He won an AJGA event in Greensboro in the summer of 2011 that qualified him for the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club. He shot a solid 141 for the two rounds and missed the cut by just a couple of strokes. — by Tim Bourret
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PURPLE POWER TIGER FANS CAN BE PROUD TO PARTICIPATE IN MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY ‘PURPLE OUT‘
by Steven Bradley , IPTAY Media hen the Clemson football team runs down The Hill before its Nov. 23 game against The Citadel, the roars of the Memorial Stadium crowd will resonate all the way to the Caribbean. Clemson will hold its first-ever “Purple Out” for the Military Appreciation Day game against The Military College of South Carolina, and official T-shirts are available with a design meant to show the significance the color purple has to the United States military and Clemson University. But that is far from the only reason Clemson fans can feel good about putting on purple that day. Clemson and IPTAY have partnered with Knights Apparel, a Spartanburg-based business, which will produce the exclusive 2013 “Purple Out” T-shirts through its Alta Gracia brand, which represents another benevolent aspect of the event. The Alta Gracia factory, located in Villa Altagracia, Dominican Republic, is the only one in the developing world to meet the standard of paying its employees a “living wage” and thus be certified by the Workers Rights Consortium.
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
“It’s a pretty unique factory,” Alta Gracia Brand Director Rip Scott said. “We have visitors from all over the world who want to come see it. But it’s a pretty simple premise: We want to pay workers enough to support their families and take care of what they need to in life, and we want them to have a safe work environment, be treated with respect and have rights in the workplace.” Villa Altagracia had been a large base for apparel manufacturing in the Dominican Republic at one time, but when a major factory closed down in the municipality, it left a huge hole in the local economy and thousands of trained workers unemployed. That scenario hit home for Donnie Hodge. Like many in the South from his generation,
the textile business played a major role in Hodge’s upbringing. His father worked at the local cotton mill in their hometown of Pacolet Mills in Spartanburg County, and Hodge saw entire communities virtually shut down when the local mills went out of business. Hodge played baseball at Erskine College before going into the textile industry himself, and after a long career as an executive at a number of successful companies, was hired in 2008 as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Knights Apparel. At the time there was quite a bit of discussion on campuses around the United States about labor rights for workers who made college apparel, but those philosophical ideals had always remained just that, while the reality was profit margins could be increased by using the cheap labor available in Central America and the Caribbean.
But the admittedly “hard-headed” Hodge was determined to make a sustainable business model out of paying workers a living wage with Knights Apparel. He had experience working in the Dominican Republic, so he got on an airplane and found a suitable building — the then-abandoned factory in Villa Altagracia — and set about repairing the building, putting in the equipment and hiring the workers. More than 500 people lined up to apply for jobs the first day. The Alta Gracia factory now employs about 135 workers and is making a difference in each of their lives by paying every worker what equates to 3.5 times the minimum wage in the Dominican Republic. “This is one of the things I’m most proud of in my career because, the Alta Gracia factory, I think I went down there and made that happen,” Hodge said. “It’s a small factory, and it’s only making a difference in one community. But students around the country can identify that it gives them an opportunity to support it. I cannot express how grateful I am — and I mean this from the bottom of my heart — and how much I appreciate Clemson’s support.” The “Purple Out” initiative began as a brainchild of the student body several years ago, but took a while to gain momentum. That momentum hit a tipping point when the athletic department realized the drive the students had
to make it a reality, and about a year and a half ago, threw its support behind the initiative. In August 2012, it was decided that the “Purple Out” would happen, but the Clemson student government and athletic department decided to wait until this football season to do it to make certain it was done the right way, according to Student Senate Athletic Chairman Hunter Bagnal, who serves as a liaison between the two. To get the ball rolling, a student competition was held to find an official “Purple Out” logo for the shirts, a process that was considerably more complicated than it sounds. “The tricky thing about Clemson is we have a lot of symbols here — the academic Tiger face, the Clemson Paw, certain fonts we can use — so it’s really tricky trying to make sure you’re not stepping on any toes with this,” Bagnal said. “We got about 35 designs and ended up meeting and put them all on the wall, and William Craig’s just jumped out at us instantly. We had to talk to the Department of Defense as far as making sure the Purple Heart was good to go, and his design just lined up so well that we knew he’d won.” Once the design of Craig — now a graduate student — was selected, the next step in bringing the “Purple Out” to fruition was for the athletic department to get the shirts produced, which is where Knights Apparel
entered the narrative. “The deal they gave us was just unbelievable,” Bagnal said. “The connections they have — they do the Penn State ‘White Out’ shirt, and they have experience at this — and they were able to get us in vendors such as the bookstores here, the local Target in Anderson, and the connections they were able to bring us to the mass scale were great. To get 80,000 people to wear purple, we can’t just stick it in one store and pray that they buy it. Knights Apparel allowed us to be able to reach all these people with just one distributor.” Of course, this isn’t the first time that purple T-shirts have been sold for Military Appreciation Day at Clemson. In past years, the ROTC and military organizations on campus have made shirts and sold them, and the athletic department gave the rights money it received back to those organizations. In this case, the “Purple Out” shirt is replacing the Military Appreciation Day shirt, but the end result is the same — a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts goes directly back into military programs on Clemson’s campus. “The students are using this as a platform to show awareness for our military as a whole — active duty and veterans and everyone in between,” Bagnal said. That is where Collegiate Licensing Company
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comes into the equation. CLC is a licensing agency that works on behalf of Clemson and roughly 160 other schools around the country, as well as additional collegiate properties such as bowl games, the NCAA and Heisman Trust. Its primary role is to be the conduit between the manufacturers who seek to produce college-branded products and the schools. In this case, CLC acts as a clearinghouse for those companies to come through and apply for a license, and it then processes that information on to Clemson, which in turn makes the final decision on anyone who gets a license with the university. “We would make sure that if people are submitting designs, purple designs, that may infringe a little bit or cut pretty close to what Knights Apparel is doing, then we flag those and make sure that those are not reaching the marketplace,” said Mike Carlton, Senior Director of University Services for CLC. And the impact of that licensing is particularly important in the case of Clemson’s “Purple Out,” since any proceeds from T-shirts that are not the official “Purple Out” shirts made by Knights Apparel are not only not going back to the workers in Villa Altagracia, but also are not going back to the military organizations at Clemson. “This is an initiative that Clemson has taken upon themselves to make sure they are doing their due diligence to ensure the product is manufactured in an appropriate manner and the people making those garments aren’t working in sweat shop conditions,” Carlton said, “and then on the other end to work and ensure that the money that’s generated from the proceeds that come from this particular initiative and this de-
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
sign are going to reward our military and those folks that do what they do to protect our country.” Those looking to get their hands on an official “Purple Out” T-shirt should have no trouble finding one. There will be 11,000 T-shirts at the stadium for student-ticket holders, so anyone who attends the game with a student ticket will get one of the shirts at no charge. Beyond that, the shirts are also available at Barnes & Noble Bookstore and Stadium Stores on campus, Mr. Knickerbocker’s, The Tiger Sports Shop and Judge Keller’s in Clemson, Palmetto Moon in Greenville, Courtyard by Marriott in Clemson and select local Target stores, as well as online at Fanatics.com and the Official Online Store of ClemsonTigers.com. For anyone on or near Clemson’s campus, the Barnes & Noble store in the Hendrix Center is a perfect place to pick up the shirt. It is a flagship store for Knights Apparel and the Alta Gracia brand, which means it has a full setup of their products. “We’re open all week during the week, the ‘Purple Out’ shirt is in the store, and we also have it at the stadium during the game because we do the novelty stands,” said Brandon Williams, Community Relations Manager for Barnes & Noble. “It’s in all of the stadium locations, the store that we opened in Littlejohn Coliseum, the store in the WestZone — Solid Orange Station — and then the actual novelty booths inside the stadium.” Of course, while Clemson wants fans to wear purple to The Citadel game, it still wants fans to wear orange to the other home games. The Solid Orange initiative is even a part of the design of the “Purple Out” shirts.
But for a school with such a proud military history, Assistant Athletic Director Mike Money said the student-driven “Purple Out” is something Tiger fans can be proud of when they don their purple shirts Nov. 23. “For that one game, we want everybody to wear purple in support of the military,” Money said. “I think here at Clemson we’ve got an amazing Military Appreciation Day. The military groups on campus do a tremendous job with that, and I think it’s something that just ties perfectly into that.” For Hodge, the proximity between Knights Apparel and Clemson, as well as his own connections with the university — Hodge’s father-inlaw, Zane Woodfin, is a 1948 graduate of Clemson University and a member of the school’s Hall of Fame — are further reasons the “Purple Out” is such a special event. “When those fans get there and they see that team poised to run down The Hill, it’s just unbelievable,” he said. “And no matter what’s happened to those people that week, no matter how it’s been, when they look and they see that team poised, they rally around that. Now, you’ve got this ‘Purple Out’ support that kind of rallies and makes them feel like a part of the team, and it’s Military Appreciation Day, as well. I’m sort of an old-fashioned sort of guy, and I’m not embarrassed to be that way — and I think if you can’t feel good about that ‘Purple Out’ shirt and supporting the military and supporting Clemson University, there’s something wrong with you.” Workers at the Alta Gracia factory in Villa Altagracia, Dominican Republic, pose with the company leadership of Barnes & Noble and Knights Apparel CEO Joe Bozich. Photo courtesy of Alta Gracia
CAN I PROVIDE PROSPECTS WITH ANYTHING?
s football has kicked off another exciting year, compliance services is receiving numerous request and questions specifically toward providing student-athletes and prospective studentathletes with tickets, transportation, and inviting them to tailgates.
NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes and prospective student-athletes from receiving a benefit that is not generally available to the entire student body or general public. This benefit is also known as an extra benefit. An extra benefit is any preferential treatment, benefits or services provided to a student-athlete or the student-athlete’s relatives or friends because of the student-athlete’s reputation, skill, or professional future from someone other than a family member or legal guardian. Even if a benefit may be viewed as little to no value (i.e., use of a jet ski, tailgating snack or meal after a game), NCAA rules still prohibit a prospective student-athlete’s or student-athlete’s receipt of the benefit. Examples of extra benefits to student-athletes which would jeopardize a prospect’s or student-athlete’s eligibility at Clemson University include, but are not limited to: • Inviting current student-athletes to tailgating parties after football games (or any other athletics event); • Allowing a student-athlete the use of your automobile or providing any form of transportation;
• Paying a student-athlete compensation for work not actually performed; • Paying for a student-athlete’s complimentary tickets or athletic awards; • Providing free or reduced-cost services, rentals, or purchases of any type; • Providing free or reduced-cost entertainment or tickets; • Providing free or reduced-cost housing; • Providing increased employment salary based on the student-athlete’s athletics ability, reputation, or fame; • Providing free or reduced-cost storage of personal belongings; • Providing financial arrangements (e.g. signing or co-signing a loan); • Providing a loan of money, gift, or use of credit card; Receipt of an extra benefit by a student-athlete would render the student-athlete and prospective student-athlete ineligible. Receipt of an extra benefit by a prospective student-athlete could cost the institution from recruiting or signing a National Letter of Intent. In addition, the student-athlete and prospective student-athlete would have to repay the value of the benefit and request the NCAA to reinstate their eligibility. The NCAA has reinstated student-athletes that receive extra benefits BUT the penalty of withholding them from competitions is just not worth it. GO TIGERS!
ASK BEFORE YOU ACT! While a previous established relationship may exist and benefits were provided prior to the student becoming a recruited prospective student-athlete, please contact Compliance Services at (864) 656-1580 or email at compliance-L@clemson.edu.
THE GOLDEN GOAL The Tiger men’s soccer team celebrates the game-winning goal by Thales de Mello Moreno in the second overtime against rival South Carolina on Labor Day night. Photos by Rex Brown, IPTAY Media
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
IPTAY Mr. James Beeks passed away November 23, 2012. He was an IPTAY member for 7 years.
Ms. Maraget Boykin passed away August 10. She was an IPTAY member for 20 years.
Mr. Charles E. Brown passed away February 7. He was an IPTAY member for 49 years.
Mr. Steve Bond passed away August 15. He was an IPTAY member for 34 years.
Mr. James D. Tomberlin passed away May 4. He was an IPTAY member for 45 years.
Ms. Rachel Kam-Johnson passed away August 28. She was an IPTAY member for 4 years.
Mr. G.L. Buckles passed away July 28. He was an IPTAY member for 48 years.
Mr. Eugene Jackson passed away September 2. He was an IPTAY member for 79 years.
Mr. Vincent M. Yockel passed away August 8. He was an IPTAY member for 33 years.
Mr. Edward L. Proctor passed away Septemer 5. He was an IPTAY member for 62 years.
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IPTAY R DONotOos ph
ation in the Swiss Alps. Steve and Jackie on vac
Taylor Squires son of Joe and Hunt er Squires (both ‘04) and grandson of Anne Kleit ches.
Hometown Tailgaters at Edisto Beach.
Andrew and Delaney Byr ne celebrating Andrew’s 12t h birthday at Epcot in Disney World on June 12, 2013.
E. Jackson was promoted On July 1, 2013 Donald eral. He is currently the Gen to rank of Brigadier for the South Atlantic Commanding General Engineers Atlanta, GA. of ps Cor y Arm District US
his daughter Walter Pirkle (‘66) and ) vacationing in (‘92 ves Christy Pirkle Ree mer. Hilton Head, SC this sum
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
Sarah Catherine, Mary and Allen Lee of Lyman, SC ”Takin’ it easy “ on the corner of Winslow, Arizona.
Clyde & Hilda Sistare on vacation in St. Maarten.
Roger & Janet Greiner at Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska in August 2013.
Future Clemson quarte rback Benjamin Alec Cox son of Ellen Cox and grandson of IPTAY Rep . Glenn A Cox and Myra Cox of Pawleys Island, SC.
abeth Van Tim (‘01) and Mary Eliz big brother Trayvon and Tyrese Rashad enjoying h wit ng alo ) (‘02 le Heu n Tiger n Brooks on play time on their Clemso Jackson welcomed Eva ents, Par . on old s nds nth gra mo the 7 is at t oks blanke May 6, 2013. Bro . had ) Ras (‘66 ise n Den kso Greg and of Donna and Jerry Jac
John (‘74) and Mary Turner on their summer vacation in Cape Eleuthra, Bahamas in July 2013.
Aiden L. Keith, adopted to Mike and Annie Keith July 26, 2013.
Jackson Zellner born April 11, 2013 to Jamie and Dawn Zellner.
Mike and Connie Forrester at St. Andrews Golf course, Scotland on Aug. 23, 2013.
Derek and Vicki Herring (‘82) with Hilary Pitts(‘14) and Jak e and Hannah Herring at Tortuga Island, Costa Rica.
Mike Butler(81) and his daughter Elyse at ”the real Notre Dame” in Paris, France.
Carolyn Bishop-McLeod while on safari.
10 lley (‘06) Miller on our Tom (‘04 & ‘05) and She , sau Nas to ise cru ry year wedding anniversa k. St. John, and Grand Tur San Juan, St. Thomas &
Mary Porter a brand new Tiger Cub Club member is ready to earn her IPTAY points!
rtin and wife Rachel IPTAY member Philip Ma 2013 at a wedding. e Jun in er Tig The h wit
E-mail photos, information & IPTAY number to Lindsey Leonard at email@example.com, or mail IPTAY, Attn: Lindsey Leonard, PO Box 1529, Clemson, SC 29633
GU ST S E PA TU EM BE R 2 0 01 93
Jim Barker’s Legacy by Tim Bourret
n September 10, US News & World Report released its list of the top public institutions in the nation. Clemson was ranked 21st in the nation in that category, the school’s highest ranking ever. That announcement came two days after the Clemson football team had been ranked third in the nation by the Associated Press, the highest ranking for the program in 25 years (September 12, 1988). During that week, there were just eight public schools across the country ranked in the top 25 of both the US News & World Report and the AP poll. Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State were the only schools in the top 10 of the football polls and the top 25 of the US News & World Report rankings. Each of the last two academic years, Clemson has finished the football season in the AP and USA Today Top 25, and the US News & World Report ranking. The Tigers look to be in good shape to make it three years in a row as I author this column. From a Clemson alum’s point of view, having excellence in academics and athletics simultaneously allows them to take an extra level of pride in that Clemson degree. That prideful outlook should also be on the mind of Clemson President and graduate Jim Barker, who has announced his retirement effective with the selection of his successor sometime this academic year. His leadership over the last 14 years has led to this ranking of excellence in two of the most visible aspects of a school’s mission. Clemson’s current rankings all started during his inaugural address in April of 2000 when he
ORANGE: THE EXPERIENCE
listed some very specific goals for Clemson in all areas, including athletics. He said, “I am convinced that there is no university in America stronger than Clemson when we are ‘One Clemson.’ A united Clemson is unstoppable.” There is no doubt he has brought Clemson to a new level during his 14 years as the leader of the institution. In many ways the keys to success were reached through an approach similar to that of an athletic coach. First, he has brought the university consistency in leadership. In the 15 years prior to his tenure, Clemson had five presidents. Consistency in leadership of athletic programs has historically led to successful programs. Second, he had a vision, a specific plan to reach a goal. Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney has had a specific plan with set goals since he took over five years ago. Those goals are clearly displayed in the team meeting room in the WestZone every day. Third, Barker made changes, but always had a sense of Clemson tradition and its importance in the overall picture of the institution. He always had Clemson’s “sense of place” at the forefront when making difficult decisions. No one has a better sense of Clemson’s football traditions than Swinney. As he discussed in his final public speech to faculty and staff at the Victor Hurst Convocation this August, President Barker came to Clemson the year after his father had died. He was searching for his own sense of place at the time, but when he enrolled at Clemson, “I felt the place spoke to me. When I got here I knew I was going to be OK.” From a personal standpoint, it has made my life easier to have a president who had an ap-
preciation for the demands of college athletics, from all angles. As a former Clemson athlete (pole vaulter), Barker had respect for the life of a college athlete. He could relate to the coach and player relationship and had personal knowledge of the work that is required to be successful at this level. When I was a student at Notre Dame, Father Theodore Hesburgh was the president and his office was on the top floor of the administration building, known to most as the Golden Dome. If his office light was on, no matter what hour of the evening, students could go to his office and seek his counsel. That personal touch is a trait that President Barker has in common with Father Hesburgh (who is still going strong at age 96). When my dad passed away last March, one of the first cards I received was from Jim Barker and his wife Marcia. It didn’t surprise me at all. It is one of the reasons Clemson is now among the elite public institutions in America. A look to the latest US News & World Report ranking and the college football rankings of Monday, Sept. 10 shows Jim Barker’s ability to lead the school academically and athletically. Top 25 Public Institutions US News & World Report Rank School AP-USA Football 1. California 2. UCLA 16-17 3. Virginia 4. Michigan 11-12 5. North Carolina 6. William & Mary 7. Georgia Tech 8. Penn State 9. UC Davis UC San Diego 11. UC Santa Barbara Illinois Wisconsin 20-18 14. UC Irvine Florida 18-20 16. Ohio State 4-3 17. Texas Washington 19-21 19. Connecticut 20. Georgia 9-10 21. Clemson 3-5 Maryland Pittsburgh 24. Purdue 25. Rutgers
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