Swinney–always about what’s next

GREENVILLE—‘Best is the standard’—that phrase is written numerous places inside the Tigers’ football facilities.

Whether it is inside the new $55 million operations facility, to the indoor facility, to the locker rooms, it is a phrase that is not only part of the football program, it is a phrase that is lived out in every aspect of what is done inside the defending national champions team.

“We’re still moving in a new facility, but there’s a lot of areas within our program that we wanted to continue to improve,” Clemson head coach said at the Greenville Prowl and Growl. “There’s our dining situation and how the food’s being prepared. There’s details that are going on all of the time in all areas of the program.”

However, that phrase does not only include the football team, it also is meant to include the teams home for seven Saturdays each fall—Death Valley.

And the Tigers head coach has already been thinking

“From a huge project standpoint, there are other things down the road,” Swinney said. “There are things I’d love to see happen in the stadium that I think would be great for Clemson football and some of the fans.”

Those “other things” appear to be plans to enclose the east side of the stadium, similar to the current WestZone side of the stadium.

The WestZone, a dream of former head coach Tommy Bowden, was completed in two phases. The first of which was completed in 2009 (after beginning in 2004), enclosed the west end zone of the stadium, while adding luxury boxes and club seating, as well as new locker rooms for the football team.

The second phase of the expansion began in 2011, which featured the oculus, the main entrance to the WestZone, a four-level museum and an expansion of the north concourse.

“I think they’ve done a nice job (on the stadium),” Swinney said “We just revamped all the suites and the boxes and we created that whole SouthZone. That’s been great and so there’s been a lot of things to enhance the fan experience. The box opportunities, the WestZone has been phenomenal. I think some type of EastZone is probably going to come — when down the road, I don’t know. But I think you have to always be thinking toward those things.”

Until the time comes when the athletic department is ready to pull the trigger on an EastZone project, Swinney has his list ready for whoever asks what still needs to be accomplished.

“There are things from a housing standpoint that I think are important that we address down the road,” Swinney said. “Always looking ahead and always paying attention down the road. You never arrive. If you arrive, you get passed by. We just want to continue to strive to get better to have consistency within our program.”

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