Ella Bresee left an indelible mark on Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.
Ella, 15, died last week from brain cancer. Her older brother, Bryan, is a standout Clemson defensive tackle, and Swinney led a contingent of players and coaches to her funeral in Maryland on Tuesday.
Swinney told reporters Wednesday that Ella left behind words of inspiration.
“We all can learn from Ella,” he said, going on to describe a letter she wrote about living with cancer. “She said, ‘You know, I have a choice and I choose to have a great attitude and I’m gonna make the best of each day.'”
Swinney said the bottom line of Ella’s message was that you have to love life and “live it to the fullest. And I think to do that, you have to love and you have to forgive and, as Ella said, don’t hold grudges and, you know, have a true appreciation of today.”
Bryan Bresee was with his family following Ella’s death and missed last Saturday’s win over Louisiana Tech. He is expected to play Saturday when the No. 5 Tigers (3-0) meet No. 21 Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C.