Clemson University

January 17, 2014

Updated: Clemson approves Dabo Swinney’s new eight-year deal

A new eight-year agreement for coach Dabo Swinney was approved Saturday by the Clemson Board of Trustees’ compensation committee.

UPDATED (Noon Jan. 18, 2014): As expected, Clemson University and head football coach Dabo Swinney agreed to a new eight-year contract, the athletic department announced Saturday.

The deal was approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees compensation committee.

"Dabo is one of the top coaches not only in the ACC but in the entire nation," director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a release from the university. "His teams have succeeded on the field, in the classroom and in the community. We're excited to have him lead our program for a long time into the future."

ORIGINAL STORY: A new eight-year agreement for coach Dabo Swinney should be approved Saturday by the Clemson Board of Trustees’ compensation committee along with a package of raises for his coaching staff that could rank among the 10 most lucrative in college football.

The board announced a teleconference beginning at 10 a.m. to approve a package expected to exceed $8 million including $3.15 million initially to Swinney during his sixth full season as coach.

Swinney’s contract for 2013 called for compensation of at least $2.2 million.

The contract, which runs through Dec. 31, 2021, includes a $5 million buyout should Swinney wish to leave Clemson during the first three seasons, then gradually less in subsequent years.

His base salary would be $245,000 plus $500,000 in licensing revenue and the balance in supplemental income.

Under Swinney, the program finished 11-2 for the second straight year, the first time in school history that Clemson won at least 11 games in consecutive seasons. Clemson ranked seventh in the final USA Today coaches’ poll, the highest final ranking since the Tigers won the national championship in 1981.

Swinney’s new contract includes an escalating annual salary through 2016 capped at $345,000, though it provides for subsequent raises depending on the number of wins the previous season. Along with incentives for an ACC championship — and bonuses for appearances and victories in the conference title game and the college football playoff — there is a bonus for NCAA academic progress scores of 950 or higher.

Clemson reached a BCS bowl game two of the past three seasons and defeated top-10 teams in each of its past two bowl appearances.

Swinney was named a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year for the third straight year after reaching 50 wins in his 72nd game.

Swinney’s assistant coaches received approximately $4.2 million last year. The new agreement could create an additional pool of at least $700,000 to be distributed to the nine assistants.

Clemson and national champion Florida State were the only schools to rank in the top 25 in scoring offense, scoring defense, total offense and total defense.

Already the highest paid assistant in college football, offensive coordinator Chad Morris also could get a raise. He currently makes $1.3 million. Clemson was 10th in total offense, eighth in passing efficiency and sixth in complete percentage, averaging 40.2 points and 508 yards per game. Morris was named National Assistant Coach of the Year by the AFCA.

In Brent Venables’ second season as defensive coordinator, Clemson led the nation in tackles for loss, was second in three-and-outs, 13th in total sacks, 24th in scoring defense, 25th in total defense, 16th in pass defense, 13th in interceptions, 10th in forced turnovers forced and fifth in third-down conversion defense.

Swinney also was expected to solidify other areas of the program to reinforce his goal for sustaining a vision of national prominence.

Negotiations began during the season.

Among the factors that led to a long-term contract was Swinney’s wish that his sons finish high school in Clemson. For the youngest, that would be in about eight years.

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