(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Today’s picture is from the scoreboard above the hill and was taken on October 28, 1989 vs. Wake Forest. The significance of that date and game is that it was the last home game of the 1989 season; and the 1989 season was the last season for Head Coach Danny Ford.
So, as Ford trotted down the hill in this picture, he unknowingly was doing so for the last time as the coach at Clemson.
If you look closely, you can see the Wake Forest players assembling at the bottom of the hill to “taunt” the Tigers as we came down the hill. Clemson went on to defeat Wake 44-10, so the taunting did not work so well!
You can also notice in this picture that, even in the late 1980's, Death Valley was not always packed. The hill in this picture, just minutes before kickoff, is quite sparse. You can also notice that fans during this era did not wear orange as much as in today's Death Valley. Credit goes to Terry Don Phillips for his Solid Orange Campaign.
Also notice the bleachers at the top of the hill...something that was done during the 1980's for big Clemson home games. Although the Wake Forest game would not qualify as a big game that year, the bleachers were probably left up from the NC State game the week before. State, at the time, was the biggest ACC rival on the Tiger's schedule.
Clemson would finish the year 10-2 overall and 5-2 in the ACC, finishing 3rd. The Tigers would receive a bid to the Gator Bowl where we beat West Virginia and Major Harris.
The game in this picture took place just 4 weeks after Hurricane Hugo ravaged the South Carolina coast and inland areas. Many fans noted that eerie site of going to the Clemson home games in October and never seeing a State Trooper directing traffic. All troopers were assisting with the Hugo recovery and were not available for Clemson and South Carolina football games.
Some notable Tigers on the 1989 team included: Terry Allen, Rob Bodine, Gary Cooper, Dexter Davis, Chris Gardocki, Vance Hammond, Wesley McFadden, Levon Kirkland, and Ed McDaniel.
Other events that happened during the 1989 football season include:
- On October 13th, The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 190.58 points, or 6.91 percent, to close at 2,569.26, most likely after the junk bond market collapses.
- On October 17th, The Loma Prieta earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, struck the San Francisco region of Northern California, killing 67 people and delaying the 1989 World Series for ten days
- The Wonders of Life pavilion opens at Epcot in Walt Disney World, Florida.
Scott Rhymer can be reached at email@example.com