National Football Foundation
ATLANTA (June 1, 2017) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame formally presented Clemson University head coach Dabo Swinney with the MacArthur Bowl, the organization’s national championship trophy for the Football Bowl Subdivision, during a ceremony at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta today.
SEC Network broadcaster and GridironNow.com columnist Tony Barnhart emceed the event, which included remarks from Coach Swinney, NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell and College Football Hall of Fame CEO Dennis Adamovich. Coach Swinney accepted the award on behalf of his Clemson football team in front of an audience full of excited Tiger fans.
“To be here today is kind of surreal, and to look at this trophy and to know that we have Clemson’s name on it, and to be associated with so many other great teams and great coaches and great players, it truly is an honor,” said Coach Dabo Swinney. “And I am the one standing up here at the podium, but I am a little uncomfortable with that to be honest with you because I am just one guy, and if there is one thing that the game of football teaches is team, and we all have a role. And I am not standing here without a lot of great people and that is just the bottom line. I am really here to represent Clemson University, to represent our board of trustees, President [James P.] Clements, Dan Radakovich, and to accept this trophy most of all on behalf of our staff and our team.”
VIPS in attendance included Clemson Athletics Director Dan Radakovich, Clemson Associate Athletic Director of Football Administration Woody McCorvey, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl President & CEO Gary P. Stokan and Coach Swinney’s three sons, Will, Drew and Clay.
“On behalf of the National Football Foundation, our Chairman Archie Manning, our board of directors and our 12,000 members, we are extremely proud to recognize Coach Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers as MacArthur Bowl recipients for the school’s second time,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “This trophy was started in 1959 by General Douglas MacArthur and legendary Hall of Fame coach Red Blaik, and etched on the side of this stadium replica in silver are all of the subsequent national champions. It is an honor to recognize the Tigers, who capped off a spectacular year by winning the College Football Playoff National Championship. As the keepers of the history and the legacy of the sport of football, we are exceptionally pleased to continue the tradition of presenting our fabled trophy at its home in the College Football Hall of Fame.”
The NFF previously announced Clemson as the recipient of the trophy following its 35-31 victory over Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The ceremony today marked the official unveiling of the trophy with Clemson’s name permanently etched on the fabled archways of the historic trophy, joining the previous 59 teams who have been recognized since the coveted honor was first bestowed in 1959.
“Our mission here at the Hall is to engage, entertain and educate our guests in a way that honors and celebrates the people, traditions and passions of college football,” said College Football Hall of Fame CEO Dennis Adamovich. “There’s no better way to do that than to have Coach Swinney and the Clemson faithful with us here today accepting the MacArthur Bowl. The MacArthur Bowl is one of the greatest traditions of the Hall of Fame. It’s located on the third floor and our fans love it.”
This is Clemson’s second time to receive the MacArthur Bowl, having previously won the trophy in 1981 under 2017 College Football Hall of Fame electee Danny Ford. A team in the current ACC has now claimed the trophy 11 times.
The MacArthur Bowl represents the pinnacle of team achievement in college sports, and each year during its 58-year history a new name has been etched alongside the greatest teams of all time. The trophy, a replica of a football stadium, features archways with space to engrave the names of 100 teams and miniature goal posts. The trophy was the gift of an anonymous donor, who commissioned Tiffany & Co. to craft it from 400 ounces of silver, in honor of NFF founder General Douglas A. MacArthur. It took eight months to make, and the trophy features MacArthur’s famous quote: “There is no substitute for victory.”
During college football’s Poll Era, the NFF MacArthur Bowl Committee selected the recipient of the trophy. With the advent of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in 1998, the national championship game has determined which team claimed the MacArthur Bowl, a tradition that continues with the adoption of the College Football Playoff. Both the CFP trophy and the MacArthur Bowl are on display at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Twenty-four different schools have claimed the trophy at least once during its 58-year history. Alabama has hoisted it the most, claiming it eight times. Notre Dame is second with five wins while Ohio State, Miami (Fla.), Southern California and Texas have each etched their names four times on its archways. Florida, Florida State, Nebraska and Oklahoma each boast being three-time recipients. Clemson, LSU, Michigan State and Penn State have each won the trophy twice.
First presented in 1959, previous NFF National Champions and MacArthur Bowl recipients include: Syracuse 1959, Minnesota 1960, Alabama 1961, Southern California 1962, Texas 1963, Notre Dame 1964, Michigan State 1965, Michigan State/Notre Dame 1966, Southern California 1967, Ohio State 1968, Texas 1969, Ohio State/Texas 1970, Nebraska 1971, Southern California 1972, Notre Dame 1973, Southern California 1974, Oklahoma 1975, Pittsburgh 1976, Notre Dame 1977, Alabama 1978, Alabama 1979, Georgia 1980, Clemson 1981, Penn State 1982, Miami (FL) 1983, Brigham Young 1984, Oklahoma 1985, Penn State 1986, Miami (FL) 1987, Notre Dame 1988, Miami (FL) 1989, Colorado 1990, Washington 1991, Alabama 1992, Florida State 1993, Nebraska 1994, Nebraska 1995, Florida 1996, Michigan 1997, Tennessee 1998, Florida State 1999, Oklahoma 2000, Miami (FL) 2001, Ohio State 2002, Louisiana State 2003, Vacated 2004, Texas 2005, Florida 2006, LSU 2007, Florida 2008, Alabama 2009, Auburn 2010, Alabama 2011, Alabama 2012, Florida State in 2013, Ohio State in 2014 and Alabama in 2015.