Top Five Most Notable Clemson Developments of 2013

5. Danny Ford Inducted into Clemson’s Ring of Honor: Nearly two and a half decades after his forced resignation, Clemson’s National Championship head coach finally got his rightful place in the Ring of Honor. His name is now hangs in Death Valley right next to Fred Cone and one over from QB Steve Fuller, who quarterbacked the team to Danny Fords first win in the 1979 Gator Bowl. Ford was honored at the season opener v Georgia (pictured below).

FordROH

4. Clemson-17, South Carolina-31: Despite battling to a tie game heading into the final quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium, Clemson came apart and blew a very winnable game to their arch-rivals. The fifth straight loss to the Gamecocks puts a damper on #3.

3. 3rd Straight 10-Win Season Including a Win Over UGA: Clemson broke their five game losing streak to UGA with their first win over the Dawgs since 1990. They also hit the 10 win mark for the third year in a row. The last time the Tigers had such a streak, Danny Ford won 10 in ’87, ’88, and ’89, and then Ken Hatfield added another 10-win season in 1990. There were only 11 regular season wins in those days; nevertheless the streak marks the program’s rejuvenation behind Swinney, Morris, and Boyd (see my article on Boyd’s legacy here).

2. James Clements Announced as President: Beloved University President, Jim Barker, announced his retirement this year. He successfully lowered student-faculty ratios, increased average SAT scores, increased research dollars, developed the International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) in Greenville, and pushed the University to a Top 21 ranking in the US News and World Report Public School rankings.  

Barker

Fortunately, he left Clemson in a great position to hire a strong successor. James Clements, then the President of West Virginia chose to leave that position for the same one at Clemson University. Even after leaving, the WVU Board of Governors said “The bottom line: He [Clements] understands how a public land-grant University changes lives—and he has brought people together to make that mission a very powerful one on our campus.”

Clement’s is lauded for his success at WVU where he set private fundraising records, improved research funding, and set in motion nearly a billion dollars of capital improvements on campus. Additionally, He chaired the boards of the West Virginia United Health System, the WVU Hospitals, and the WVU Research Corporation. “In total, WVU and its affiliates represent a $2.5 billion enterprise and employ more than 20,000 people.”

1. Facility Upgrades Announced: Clemson’s Board of Trustees announced approval of a full rebuild of Littlejohn Coliseum. They will play next season in Littlejohn, then move to Greenville for the 2015-16 season before returning home to what will essentially be a brand new arena for the 2016-17 season.

Additionally, “several separate projects are slated for football and its stadium, including a new operations center of between 60,000 and 80,000 square feet adjacent to the indoor facility.

The third phase of the WestZone would be completed including the Oculus near the main entrance which would serve as the ‘signature vertical element’ of the stadium. A pedestrian area linking the north and south stands would alleviate congestion.

Oculus

Suites and concourses would undergo extensive renovation, and a 10,000-square foot Letterwinner Lounge would be constructed on the second concourse of the south stands. In partnership with the Madren Center, it would be used throughout the year for special events.

A three-level addition at baseball’s Doug Kingsmore Stadium would include player amenities adjacent to the current locker room area directly behind the first base stands. Integrated into the existing stands, the addition will include a viewing platform.

The Hoke Sloan Tennis Center and Duckworth Pavilion would be upgraded with expansion and reorientation of the indoor tennis facility and renovations to the tennis complex.

Finally, athletics has joined plans for a mixed-use facility of approximately 260,000 square feet to include academic support facilities to replace Vickery Hall including student housing and dining, a convenience store, retail restaurant and administrative support spaces.

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