Swinney Supports New Facility for Soccer Programs

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The construction of Clemson's new football operations center came at a cost for Clemson's men and women's soccer teams, who were forced to give up their old practice fields to make room for the new building.

That sacrifice did not go unrecognized by Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney, who says it's now his turn to help the soccer programs get a new facility of their own.

"I'm going to be a part of leading the way for us to build a soccer operations facility over their practice fields. I'm going to help lead the way on that, because our men's and women's soccer teams deserve that," Swinney said on National Signing Day.

Women's soccer coach Eddie Radwanski said he was "stunned" when he heard that.

"I nearly fell out of my chair, but that's just the type of human being Dabo is," Radwanski said. "He's that type of guy. I've always appreciated (that) he's been a great friend to our program. He's been a wonderful supporter, and he doesn't have to. He's busy, he's got things to do, but he makes the time to do so, and I really appreciate it."

Men's soccer coach Mike Noonan admitted it was frustrating when construction on the football complex overtook the soccer practice fields late in the 2015 season, when the Tigers came close to making a championship run of their own. The soccer team has new practice fields now, though, and Noonan sees the bigger picture and how his program has benefited from the football team's success.

"Dabo had a vision, and I think that vision is spot on," Noonan said. "At times, it's difficult. But when you see it come to fruition and the parts of it that we have no doubt benefited from, and I'm not just talking about new practice fields and the potential for a new operations building for ourselves, but I'm talking about in the recruiting field. When we bring a kid to campus ... and they see the support from the head football coach and the athletic director and the president of the university, that's a powerful message that's not sent at a lot of our competitors."

While the men's and women's soccer teams have been overshadowed by the football team's success in recent falls, their own success has not gone overlooked by the university. The Board of Trustees approved new contracts for Radwanski and his assistant coaches last week. Radwanski is now set to make $155,000 annually through Dec. 31, 2021. Associate head coach Jeff Robbins will make $70,615 next year, while assistant coach Siri Mullinix will make $62,100.

Clemson's assistant men's soccer coaches also had their contracts renewed. Associate head coach Phil Jones will make $75,500 next year, while assistant coach Camilo Rodriguez will make $58,000. Head coach Mike Noonan is set to make $188,500 in 2017 under his existing contract, which runs through 2019.

Soccer has been among Clemson's most successful sports in recent years. The men's team has reached the NCAA Tournament for four consecutive seasons and at least the Elite Eight in each of the past two. The women's team has made three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and reached the Sweet 16 this past season.

"Coach Radwanski and coach Noonan, they do an unbelievable job," Swinney said.

Both soccer coaches believe the successes of their programs go hand in hand with the success of the football team and other Clemson sports.

"The results kind of speak for themselves, don't they?" Noonan said. "They've won a national championship, we've won ACC championships in baseball, golf, soccer over the course of the last couple years. Everybody is doing better and feeling better about how to represent Clemson. And not just how to represent Clemson, but why we're representing."

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February 11, 2017


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