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Clemson, Dabo Swinney agree to new eight-year, $54 million contract


Undeniably, winning has its rewards.  Case in point: Dabo Swinney.

In January, Swinney led Clemson to the football program’s first national championship in more than three decades.  Seven months later, the university announced that Swinney has agreed to a new eight-year contract that would keep the head coach with the Tigers through 2024.  The deal is worth a total of $54 million, an average of $6.75 million annually.

“Dabo’s impact on our football program, our university and our community is immeasurable and goes well beyond the on-field successes and national championship,” said athletic director Dan Radakovich in a statement. “This new agreement demonstrates our strong commitment to Dabo and our confidence in his leadership now—and in the future—and his long-term commitment to Clemson. We are thrilled that he and his family will be a part of the Clemson Family for years to come.”

Swinney will be paid a total of $7.5 million in the first year of the deal — $6 million in salary, $1.5 million as a signing bonus.  That figure will make him the second-highest paid coach in college football in 2017, behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban ($11 million), the man he beat for the 2016 College Football Playoff title.

In 2018 and 2019, Swinney will be paid $6.2 million in total compensation, with his 2020 salary jumping to $6.3 million.  He will receive annual raises of $100,000 through 2023, pushing his compensation to $6.6 million that year.  He’ll make the same number in the final year of the deal.

Additionally, Swinney will be eligible for a retention bonus of $1 million if he’s still the Tigers coach on March 1, 2019.  Another retention bonus of $70,000 would be triggered on the same date two years later.

Swinney could also earn annual bonuses of up to $1 million, including $250,000 for a national championship and $200,000 for a championship game appearance.

Conversely, Swinney would owe the university a $6 million buyout if he leaves anytime between now and Dec. 31, 2018.  That number would then drop to $4 million if he leaves before Dec. 31, 2019, then drops by $1 million each year through the same date in 2022.  If he were to be fired without cause, Swinney would be owed the number of years remaining on his deal times $5 million.

“I want to thank President Clements, Dan Radakovich and his team, the Board of Trustees, and the entire Clemson family,” Swinney said. “My family and I have been extremely blessed to be part of such an incredible university and community for the past 14 years. This contract makes a strong statement. It is a mutual commitment reflective of the program we have built and continue to build at Clemson. The Clemson family does so much to support our program and I couldn’t be more proud to be your head coach.”

In his nine seasons as coach, Swinney has compiled an 89-28 record overall and 54-15 mark in ACC play.  The Tigers have won 10 or more games in each of the past six seasons, including back-to-back 14-win years.  Prior to Swinney’s arrival, Clemson had just seven 10-win seasons total the previous 106 years.

Swinney also has three ACC championships and five Atlantic division titles during that time.

Reports: Bob Diaco finalizes deal with Oklahoma

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It appears Lincoln Riley has all but officially gotten his man.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Bob Diaco was expected to take a job on Riley’s Oklahoma football staff. Friday, Pete Thamel of tweeted that Diaco has finalized a deal to join the football program.‘s Adam Rittenberg subsequently confirmed the initial report.

With all 10 of Riley’s on-field assistant slots filled, Diaco will serve as a defensive analyst for the Sooners.

Diaco spent the 2017 season as the defensive coordinator at Nebraska, let go after that one year following the firing of head coach Mike Riley.  Prior to that brief stint in Lincoln, he was the head coach at UConn for three seasons before being fired after going 11-26 during his time with the Huskies.

Prior to that, he was the coordinator at Notre Dame for four seasons from 2010-13.

Florida’s athletics facilities upgrade scheduled to be completed in 2021

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Dan Mullen is just breaking in his new office chair, but it will be a few more years until the new head coach to truly be able to get comfortable in his new digs. The University of Florida is scheduled to begin a complete overhaul of the athletics facilities in Gainesville this summer. When it is complete, a brand new state-of-the-art football training facility will be among the highlights of the $130 million project.

The new football facility is planned to occupy a space currently used by Florida’s baseball stadium. WOrk on the football facility will have to wait until the baseball program can move into its new stadium that is part of the renovation plans at Florida.

“With the change in facility locations for both baseball and football, we will now adjust the sequencing for these projects,” Florida AD Scott Stricklin said in a press release, according to Gridiron Now. “Baseball will need to be built first, which will allow us to repurpose the current baseball site and put the stand-alone football complex in that space.”

The new football training facility will take up a good chunk of the renovation costs with an estimated price tag of $65 million for a 130,000 square foot structure. Florida won’t have to wait until 2021 to use the facility, however, as the Gators should be expected to be able to start using the new complex as early as 2019 while the construction and renovation continues.

Michigan high school coach shuts doors to EMU football following shutting down of athletic programs

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Eastern Michigan University made some tough decisions this week when it cut four athletic programs. Although cutting football was not deemed to be an option by AD Scott Wetherbee, the decision is already having some ramifications for the football program moving forward as one high school in the state of Michigan says the Eagles are no longer welcome on their premises.

Noel Dean, who coaches both the football and wrestling programs at Lowell High School, stated in a public letter addressed to EMU head coach Chris Creighton that he will no longer welcome Creighton or anyone else associated with EMU to his high school for recruiting purposes if the university goes through with cutting the wrestling program. Dean also issues a warning to Creighton in the letter, suggesting it may not be long before the university takes another hard look at the value of the football program.

“I can’t stand by and not take a stand against what is happening at EMU with the wrestling program,” Dean wrote in his letter, which was shared by Michigan Grappler. “Wrestling contributes too much to the fabric of our schools systems in Michigan (a guy from South Dakota might not get it), but if I stick to the facts on this. wrestling is only a bone to keep people happy FOR NOW. They are coming for you next.

“If this goes through, you and your staff will not be allowed in any one of our buildings.”

That is most certainly a hard line in the sand putting EMU on notice. If one school in the state of Michigan decides to close its doors to EMU and this message spreads throughout the high school coaching community in the state of Michigan, EMU would be in some serious trouble.

Helmet sticker to The Detroit Free Press.


Ed Warinner goes from $250K Michigan analyst to $525K U-M line coach

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Ed Warinner‘s bank account might want to consider sending Jim McElwain a thank-you note.

In January of this year, Warinner left Minnesota to take a job as a senior offensive analyst at Michigan. However, a month later, McElwain was added as U-M’s wide receivers coach; in an unsurprising twist to that move, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tim Drevno officially stepped down from his twin posts eight days after McElwain’s hiring and ultimately ended up back at USC.

McElwain, as had been widely expected before he was officially added to Jim Harbaugh‘s coaching staff, took over Drevno’s coordinating duties. Warinner, meanwhile, was officially named as Drevno’s replacement as line coach earlier this month.

According to, Warinner has signed a two-year contract that will pay him $525,000 in 2018 and $550,000 in 2019. His scheduled salary for his role as an analyst with the football program? A “measly” $250,000.

Warinner spent the 2017 season as the offensive line coach and running-game coordinator at Minnesota. Prior to that, He was the line coach at Ohio State from 2012-16. In 2015, he added the title of co-offensive coordinator.