Clemson fan ‘The Hat’ gears up for National Championship game


(WSPA) – Dean Cox, also known as “The Hat” is living a Clemson fan’s wildest dream.

In his house, he has a cave filled from top to bottom in tiger gear and rare collectibles. From hats, to magazines, stuffed tigers, even a Clemson couch.

He says he never misses out on new memorabilia for his Clemson cave, and he never misses a home game. 

If the game goes well, he rewards fans and players with the chance to wear his hat and take selfies with him.

“I’ve been to all the playoff games. Been to the ’02 the ’16 ’18 nationals and I’ll be there this Monday for that game,” Cox said.

He has collected everything Clemson under the sun, even their 1981 Championship Ring which he says may be one of his favorite items in his Clemson cave. 

“One day I will lay in a casket and I’m sure my kids will sell it but no not me, because you cant get another one,” Cox said.

Many non-Clemson game attendees wonder why people call him “The Hat”.

“A guy named Grady Miller, who used to own Grady Miller Honda here in Greenville, he wore it to the ’81 Championship. He got ill after that ’81 Championship and it sat in his house for about 20 years and this hat was in a box. I must have been bored and I said ‘I’m wearing that hate to the game today and everybody wanted it.”

Cox said he wears his bright orange Clemson cowboy hat to every single game. But this year, he said somebody is after his prized possession.

“Rumor is there is an LSU money man out there that knows of the hat and put a bounty on it. So if anybody takes the hat and brings it to his trophy room, $5,000,” Cox said.

As he heads down to Louisiana to cheer on those Tigers in the big championship game facing LSU, the hat will be staying behind.

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