WATCH: Dabo Swinney’s love for Clemson assistant with Down’s syndrome inspired by Gene Stallings

(ESPN / Facebook)


If you watch this ESPN video, it will be the best five minutes you spend this week.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney describes his relationship with David Saville, 27, who is in his seventh season as a Clemson equipment manager and who has Down’s syndrome.

“Doesn’t miss a day,” Swinney told ESPN. “He takes unbelievable pride in his job and he’s a part of our team. He’s just got the sweetest spirit.”

Saville said he keeps Swinney “in line” and that he likes to repeat his boss’s saying: “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

The two met when Saville took a school visit and told Swinney he was going to work for him.

Swinney said his friendship with Saville reminds him of the love-in-action he saw when he played for former University of Alabama head coach Gene Stallings, whose late son, Johnny, had special needs. Swinney later served as an assistant on Stallings’ staff.

“I was so impacted watching coach and how he impacted Johnny’s life,” Swinney said of his seven years watching Stallings bring his son to practice every day and integrate him into Crimson Tide life.

“When you see David every day, you see love,” Swinney said. “And I don’t care what your problem is, where you came from, what your background is, what your beliefs are, man, love conquers all.”