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.