Clemson, Dabo Swinney agree to 6-year, $31.75M contract

ByMatt Fortuna ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On the heels of a national championship game appearance, Clemson and Dabo Swinney have agreed to a new six-year contract that will pay the coach more than $30 million, the school announced Tuesday.

"This new contract was important for us not only for what Dabo has accomplished in his eight seasons here but for what we know the program will continue to achieve -- both on and off the field -- for the foreseeable future," athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a release.

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, according to multiple reports out of Clemson, South Carolina.

Should Swinney decide to leave Clemson after this season, he would owe the school $6 million -- an increase of $1 million over his previous agreement. His buyout would be $5 million in 2017, which is $2 million more than under the old agreement. The buyout decreases by $1 million each subsequent season.

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 ACC now has three coaches that will make at least $4 million in 2016 -- triple the number it had this past season. Florida State's Jimbo Fisher still leads the way, making more than $5 million annually, while Miami coach Mark Richt makes about $4 million a year.

Swinney's previous deal with Clemson -- an eight-year deal signed in 2014 -- would have paid the football coach $3.45 million for each of the next six seasons, excluding bonuses.

"I'm excited and thankful for the opportunity to do what I love at such a great institution," Swinney said in a release. "We've built a solid foundation of success and will continue to work toward our goals of preparing young men for their future and being successful in everything we do."

The 2015 season was the highlight of Swinney's tenure, which spans more than seven full seasons and features two ACC titles and an appearance in the College Football Playoff National Championship this past January. Hired on an interim basis as a receivers coach in the middle of the 2008 season before being promoted to the full-time job, 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.

ESPN's Andrea Adelson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.