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Breaking: Clemson approves new $ 115 million contract for Dabo Swinney

Clemson's Dabo Swinney is now earning the second-most per year in college football with $ 11.5 million a season.

Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is now earning the second-most per year in college football with $ 11.5 million a season.


by David Hood

Senior Writer



CLEMSON – The Clemson Board of Trustees Compensation Committee approved a new contract for head football coach
Dabo Swinney that will make him the second-highest paid coach in the country behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban.

Swinney had seven years and $ 66 million left on the 10-year, $ 93-million deal signed in 2019. The new contract will be $ 115 million for 10 years, an annual average salary of $ 11.5 million per year. The contract will start at $ 10.5 million this year and rise to $ 12.5 million the final year of the contract, which will be the 2031 season.

“It is hard for me to believe I am in my 14th full season as your head coach, and I remain eternally grateful and honored for the opportunity to continue coaching and developing young people of excellence at Clemson.” Swinney said in a news release. “This agreement is representative of what has been collectively built here and the success we’ve had both academically and athletically. It is a reflection of the ALL IN commitment of so many people, including our players, our staff, our fans, our administration and our University leadership. While I am certainly proud of our accomplishments on the field, the most rewarding part remains the relationships forged within this program and the ability to positively impact those around us. ”



The contract is second only to Saban, who recently signed a $ 93.6 million contract extension that runs through the 2030 season.

The timing of contract comes on the heels of a market change since the 2019 contract. Along with Saban’s contract, new Southern Cal head coach Lincoln Riley has a contract reportedly worth around $ 110 million, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart’s new contract allows him to earn a base salary of $ 10,250,000 in 2022, with his deal rising to $ 12,250,000 for the 2031 season . He will earn a total of $ 112.5 million across his 10-year extension.

At Ohio State, Ryan Day recently reached an agreement on a contract extension through the 2028 season that will pay him annual salary of $ 9.5 million after a raise and two-year extension. Day’s compensation was announced by Ohio State in May. Day’s annual salary matches the one Michigan State agreed to pay Mel Tucker late last year. Penn State’s James Franklin also got a hefty raise in an extension worth $ 7 million annually.

Clemson had extra funds after losing both coordinators from last season – both Tony Elliott and Brent Venables earned in excess of $ 2 million annually, allowing the school to save money after giving raises to new offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter ($ 925,000 annually) and defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin ($ 850,000 annually).



“I am appreciative of the leadership of President Jim Clements, our Board of Trustees and Director of Athletics Graham Neff,” Swinney also said in the news release, “and I am thankful for their continued faith in me as well as their steadfast commitment to the future of Clemson Football. Our core mission remains unchanged: Graduate our players, equip them with the tools they need for life, give them a great college experience, and win championships. I do not take for granted the Clemson Family’s unwavering love and support and its faith in our program to carry out that mission every day. It is a blessing to be your head coach and to call Clemson our home. ”

“I am appreciative of the support from the Board of Trustees to President Clements to ensure we can continue to build on a firm foundation, as Clemson football and Coach Swinney’s leadership are a key driver for our university,” said Clemson AD Graham Neff in news release. “Coach Swinney and his family’s impact on our community and department cannot be understated, and his success and stability di lui nationally is truly uncommon. It is critical that Clemson continue to invest in our football program, and ensure our head coach is at Clemson for a long, long time. The best is yet to come. ”

At the start of his previous contract, Swinney ranked No. 1 among college football coach salaries, but he was set to earn the eighth-most in 2022 before the new deal.


It was a part of that previous contract that there would be a look-in at some point to keep Swinney’s salary within the top-3 nationally.

Swinney is one of two active coaches to win multiple national championships (Saban is the other). Swinney led Clemson to national championships in the 2016 and 2018 seasons, and trails only Frank Howard for the most wins by a head coach in Clemson history. He has an overall record of 151-36, including 92-19 in ACC play. He has won six ACC Championships, led the Tigers to six College Football Playoffs and four national championship games total.

“Over the past 20 years, Coach Swinney has impacted our football program, our university and the entire Clemson area community, in profound ways. The culture of success and achievement he has instilled in our student-athletes, through both on-field victories and academic accomplishments, is truly remarkable, ”said Clemson President Jim Clements in a news release. “I’m excited Dabo, Kathleen, and their family will remain part of the Clemson Family for years to come.”


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