Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney signs new 10-year $115 million contract…
- Swinney earns $11.5 million a year on average, just $200,000 behind Nick Saban
- He is also eligible to earn bonuses of up to $1.5 million per year for winning trophies
- If Swinney moves to another university this year, he should pay back at least $6 million
One of the best head coaches in the country is a little richer today as Dabo Swinney commits to stay with Clemson.
Swinney signed a $115 million 10-year contract on Thursday, making it the richest contract in college football history.
With this new contract, he will remain head coach of the Tigers until the 2031 season, averaging $11.5 million per year. That’s $1 million more a year than what he currently earns.
On an annual basis, Swinney’s contract is the second best in college football, barely behind the $11.7 million dollars a year that Alabama head coach Nick Saban will earn over the duration of his recent contract extension.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney just signed a 10-year $115 million contract to stay
Swinney has just started his 15th season as head coach of the Tigers. He first started as an interim coach in 2008 after Tommy Bowden stepped down.
Under his leadership, Clemson has won two National Championships and seven ACC crowns. Swinney is currently 3rd on the list of most wins by a coach in their first 15 years. His 151 wins are behind 2nd place Bob Stoops’ 160 wins and Urban Meyer’s 165 wins.
“It’s hard for me to believe I’m in my 14th full season as your head coach, and I remain eternally grateful and honored for the opportunity to continue coaching and developing top quality young people at Clemson,” said Swinney in a statement.
“This agreement is representative of what has been built together here and the success we have 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 achievements on the field, the most rewarding part remains the relationships forged within this program and the ability to positively impact those around us.”
Swinney won 2 national titles with the Tigers and will have a rewards contract if he wins more
Swinney attended the University of Alabama, initially joining the football team as a walk-on in 1989. He eventually earned a scholarship and won a national title with the Crimson Tide in 1992.
After graduation, he spent seven years on Tide’s coaching staff before moving to Clemson.
The terms of Swinney’s contract state that if he leaves this season to become head coach at his alma mater, he would owe Clemson a $9 million buyout. That number drops to $6 million if he leaves for another college team. Both numbers decrease every year when the deal is over.
Swinney wouldn’t owe Clemson anything if he left for the NFL.
Elsewhere on the list, Clemson Swinney would owe $64 million if he is fired for no reason during the 2022 or 2023 season. Likewise, those numbers decrease as the years go by.
Swinney also earns bonuses for reaching the college football playoffs and additional bonuses for reaching the semifinals, finals and winning the title. The highest amount he can earn in a year from bonuses is $1.5 million.
In a statement, Clemson athletic director Graham Neff deemed this huge contract necessary for the success of the football program.
“I appreciate the Board of Trustees’ support of President Clements to ensure we can continue to build on a solid foundation, as Clemson Football and Coach Swinney’s leadership are a key driver of our university.
“It is vital that Clemson continue to invest in our football program and ensure that our head coach stays with Clemson for a long, long time. The best has yet to come.’
He is entering his 15th season with Clemson, having started as interim head coach in 2008