HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Dabo Swinney experienced a first Wednesday night in Hattiesburg. It was his first time in the city. Swinney was the guest speaker at Southern Miss for First Priority's live auction.
"I have not been on this campus," Swinney said. "I think I got off maybe the exit one time a long time ago driving through. But as an assistant for a long time I never recruited Mississippi. Really that's it.
"Never been to campus and so it's been pretty neat for me to get over here. Got a chance to see coach (Jay) Hopson. I've known him a long time. We go way back. Beautiful campus. Bigger area than what I thought but excited to be here."
Swinney may have been new to the area but he's no stranger to the Golden Eagle football program. He faced the squad as a player and coach at Alabama.
"What I remember about Southern Miss was as a player at Alabama and as a coach, you didn't look forward to that game because there was always a ton of kids from Alabama on the roster," he said. "So this place has been good for a long time. Incredible tradition. I actually lost to them.
"I was a sophomore player in 1990. I didn't know who Brett Favre was. The quarterback had gotten hurt in the summer. Didn't think he was going to play. But nobody really cared. We're supposed to win. It's Gene Stalling's first season...1990...and they beat us in Legion Field. When that game was over I knew who Brett Favre was."