Brent Venables has joined the $2 million club.
Clemson’s defensive coordinator, as well as other Tigers assistants, had raises approved by the Board of Trustees on Thursday.
Venables’ deal is a three-year deal that will pay him $2 million annually. He is now the second-highest paid assistant coach in college football and one of two coordinators to make at least $2 million.
Clemson Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said he met with head coach Dabo Swinney recently and the two felt it was important to reward Venables for consistently building strong defenses.
“I think that as we move ahead we want to make sure that we do the things that are necessary to make sure that he stays here,” Radakovich said. “It was just a conversation… There’s a market figure out there, where can we go given the pool of resources that we had? And that was one of the first things that Dabo mentioned.”
LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda received a raise to $2.5 million per year in January.
Venables’ previous contract paid him $1.7 million per year.
Radakovich added that Aranda’s deal did factor into the decision to move Venables into the $2 million range.
“I think there’s a little part of that associated with it for sure, but I think obviously Brent has done an incredible job as our defensive coordinator, and the results on the field show,” Radakovich said.
Clemson co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott each received $50,000 raises and are now making $850,000 per year. Their contracts are also three-year deals.
Elliott received a $25,000 signing bonus for winning the Broyles Award this past season. The honor goes to the best assistant coach in college football.
“We kind of pull together a pool of money that we think is available within our total athletic department budget, and then (Swinney) and I sat down and move through it, and you saw the result of that today,” Radakovich said.
In addition to the three coordinators, Tigers offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell had his salary increased from $515,000 to $540,000 and his new deal is for two years.
All of Clemson’s assistants, other than its three coordinators, have two-year deals that will expire Jan. 31, 2020.
Assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Danny Pearman received a raise from $460,000 to $480,000.
Recruiting coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter had his salary increased to $455,000 from $430,000.
Cornerbacks coach Mike Reed is now making $440,000 after previously making $420,000.
Safeties coach Mickey Conn received a raise to $370,000 from $350,000, while defensive line coach Todd Bates received a $50,000 bump to $300,000.
Defensive line coach Lemanski Hall, who was promoted to Clemson’s 10th on-field assistant coach in January, had already signed a two-year deal for $300,000.
Clemson did not lose any assistants off this year’s staff after reaching the College Football Playoff for the third consecutive season. Defensive line coaches Marion Hobby and Dan Brooks left after the 2016 season.
“One of the great things is that you look at our assistant coach pool over the last four or five years, it’s been very consistent the people that are here,” Radakovich said. “I think that’s incredibly important. That doesn’t happen on a lot of staffs... I think that goes to say about the culture that Dabo has pulled together within the program. People want to stay. People want to be involved. It’s a great place to work.”
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