ONE ON ONE: Meet Kathleen Swinney
Editor's note: This Q&A originally ran in Upstate Parent in September 2014. We decided to pull it from our archives in honor of the National Championship celebration this weekend for the Clemson Tigers — and so you can better get to know the woman behind the team's winning coach.
Kathleen Swinney, 43, can often be found cheering from the sidelines as her husband, Dabo Swinney, coaches the Clemson University football team, but she just as often cheers on their three sons, Will, 16, Drew, 14, and Clay, 11. She's also the active co-founder of Dabo's All In Team Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for breast cancer research, The Family Effect, Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models, LIFE programs and other Upstate charities.
1. What quality do you most admire in others?
A genuine love and happiness for others and a great sense of humor.
2. What's your favorite childhood memory?
Family vacations in the summers to visit different states, sights, friends and family.
3. What's your favorite food?
Homemade chocolate chip cookies.
4. What's the best place to take the kids?
We love the beach.
5. What's your super power?
LOL. I'm not sure that I have one, but I'd like to think it's multi-tasking. Is that a super power?
6. What is your favorite TV show?
7. When you were younger, what did you want to be?
8. What are your hobbies?
I love sports, attending my husband and children's games, baking, reading when there is time, running with my husband or my dog, Hershey, and volunteering at my boys' schools.
9. What is something important life has taught you?
Truly treasure and appreciate each day, as it is a gift from God.
10. What is your favorite family ritual?
As simple as it sounds, when the five of us pray together.
11. What always makes you laugh?
My boys' stories.
12. What would surprise people about you?
I miss teaching school.
13. What has surprised you most about being a parent?
The true time and commitment it takes to raise your children. You only have one chance to raise your kids. I've found that to raise them and teach them takes an incredible amount of time and energy. My boys bring pure joy to my life and it's an honor and privilege to be their mom. However, I think sometimes, we as parents forget how much time, energy, patience and love raising children requires.
14. What is your favorite indulgence?
Movie theater popcorn and Coke —not diet.
15. Whom do you most admire?
My best friend and husband; he always makes me better!
16. Early bird or night owl?
Early bird, but my husband is a night owl, so I have kind of become both.
17. If you could have dinner with anyone, who would you choose?
18. What book do you most recommend to others?
"Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers.
19. What's your signature dish?
My family all has different likes, so for dinner it's always a variety. However, my family all agrees on what I bake. Family favorites are "pig out" cookies, coconut macaroons and hot homemade chocolate chip cookies.
20. What is the best gift parents can give their children?