Swinney pleased with contract, but says "the best is yet to come"


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Swinney at Clemson's baseball game last week, shortly after the contract announcement (Photo by David Grooms)
Swinney at Clemson's baseball game last week, shortly after the contract announcement (Photo by David Grooms)

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and the university agreed to a new contract last week that makes Swinney one of the highest-paid coaches in the nation, but he told TigerNet Wednesday this focus is on his program and not the contract.

The school and Swinney agreed to a new six-year contract that will pay the coach more than $30 million. The deal is for $30.75 million, with $1 million more allotted for retention bonuses -- he would get $600,000 if he's still with the Tigers on New Year's Day 2019 and $400,000 more on New Year's Day 2021.

Excluding bonuses, the new deal will pay Swinney $4.8 million in 2016 and feature annual increases, maxing out at $5.65 million in 2021.

Swinney said the deal shows the partnership he has with the administration.

“It has been an incredible journey, and it has been more of a partnership. That’s really how I wanted it to be, more of a partnership type of agreement on both sides,” Swinney said Wednesday. “I care a lot about Clemson. I have tried never to make this thing about me. I never want it to be, but I do understand there is a market, and the administration is sensitive to that. My focus has always been the program. My focus has always been on what we have to do to move the program forward, my staff and making sure we are committed to staff wise. Clemson has stepped up in a huge way in that regard.”

He could also earn a total of $900,000 in incentives if the Tigers win the national championship. He'd make $400,000 each for making and winning the College Football Playoff semifinal and $100,000 more should the Tigers win it all.

The 2015 season saw Swinney guide the Tigers to the College Football Playoff National Championship. In seven-plus seasons at the helm, Swinney has two ACC titles and a BCS bowl win. Swinney has guided Clemson to a 75-27 record, including a 47-14 mark in ACC play.

Clemson is one of just two teams to have won 10 or more games in each of the past five seasons, and it is one of just five FBS teams to rank in the top 10 percent in the NCAA's academic progress rate in each of the past five years.

Swinney says the school sees him as an asset, but he also said the best is yet to come.

“From their perspective, the business side of it, they see me as an asset. They want to make sure I am where the market says I should be or whatever,” he said. “I am very appreciative and honored by the commitment from this university, President Clements, our board and Dan Radakovich. Everybody is on the same page here, and again, I think what we were able to agree to was more of a partnership and everybody, I think, felt really good about where we are as a program and where we want to go and what we have to do to get there. So I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to do what I love to do at a place like Clemson. I’m just thankful, and I have a great appreciation for where we have come from, and I have a high expectation on where we are going to go. I’m looking forward to being a part of it for several years to come.”

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