Saturday, January 18, 2014 1:31 PM
Further details on Swinney's new deal
by David Hood
Senior Writer

CLEMSON - Clemson University and head football coach Dabo Swinney agreed to a new eight-year deal, and the deal puts the Clemson coaching staff among the top 10 highest-paid nationally.

The terms were approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees Compensation Committee.

TigerNet spoke with a source close to the negotiations and learned further details of the contract. Starting with the base salary, TigerNet learned that the maximum dollar amount a state employee can be paid each year is $2.45 million. As a result, Swinney’s contract will be written with three separate documents, with each document stipulating a pay amount that adds up to the total amount.

For instance, in 2014 Swinney will make $3.15 million. One document will have the $2.45 million allowed by the state; a second document will be a $500,000 licensing agreement (that amount will stay the same the length of the contract); and a third document will be a supplemental page which will pay the remainder of the monies owed (in 2014, $155,000).

In 2015, Swinney will still make the same $2.45 million, the licensing will still be $500,000 and the supplemental will be $305,000.

The licensing agreement – we all know that Swinney trademarked his name last season, and the school had to reach an agreement to use Swinney’s name and likeness in promotions. That total adds up to $500,000 per year for the life of the contract.


2014: $3.15 million
2015: $3.3 million
2016: $3.45 million
2017: $3.45 million
2018: $3.45 million
2019: $3.45 million
2020: $3.45 million
2021: $3.45 million

Buyout if the university terminates without cause

2014: $24 million
2015: $20.7 million
2016: $17.2 million
2017: $10.3 million
2018: $7.7 million
2019: $4 million
2020: $2 million

Buyout if Swinney leaves

2014: $5 million
2015: $5 million
2016: $5 million
2017: $3 million
2018: $2.5 million
2019: $1 million
2020: $500,000

The new eight-year deal that will pay him $3.15 million in the first year puts him third among ACC coaches, and he has a pool of $275,000 he can use for assistant coaches.

Looking at a USA Today ranking of college football coaching salaries from last season, the increase to Swinney would put the Clemson staff in the Top 10 nationally in total payout.

						Head Coach	Staff		Total 
1	Alabama 	SEC	Nick Saban	$7,000,000#	$4,462,700	$11,462,700
2	Texas		Big 12	Charlie Strong	$5,000,000#	$5,453,750	$10,453,750
3	LSU		SEC	Les Miles	$4,459,363	$4,565,803	$9,025,166
4	Arkansas	SEC	Bret Bielema	$5,158,863	$3,233,000	$8,391,863
5	Oklahoma	Big 12	Bob Stoops	$4,773,167	$3,436,200	$8,209,367
6	Ohio State	Big Ten	Urban Meyer	$4,608,000	$3,474,504	$8,082,504
7	Tennessee	SEC	Butch Jones	$4,860,000	$3,170,000	$8,030,000
8	Clemson		ACC	Dabo Swinney	$3,150,000	$4,487,150	$7,637,150
9	Michigan	Big Ten	Brady Hoke	$4,154,000	$3,072,000	$7,226,000
# Reported new 2014 salaries

Swinney has compiled a 51-23 mark over his first six seasons (five full seasons), posting a 33-12 record in Atlantic Coast Conference games and advancing to postseason bowl play each year. Swinney’s Tigers have recorded three-consecutive seasons of double-digit victories for the first time since 1988-90, including a school first 11 wins in each of the last two years. Clemson finished the season ranked seventh in the final USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the highest ranking in any final poll for the program since the Tigers won the national championship in 1981. Clemson's five victories over teams ranked in the top-10 in the last three years are exceeded only by Alabama and Oklahoma, who each have six.

Off the field, Swinney’s team has finished among the nation’s top 10 in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Report each of the last three years. The program leads the ACC with 29 All-ACC Academic selections since Coach Swinney took the reins, and Swinney continues to emphasize the importance of service in and around the Clemson community. This season the team assisted with the construction of a pair of houses for Habitat for Humanity and hosted a holiday event for local underprivileged youth. Dabo’s All-In Foundation, with a mission of raising awareness of critical education and health issues in order to change lives of people across the state of South Carolina, has donated and pledged nearly $1 million to local organizations over the past four years.

David Hood can be reached at davidhood@tigernet.com