When Clemson and LSU take the field Monday night, there will be more than rings and a trophy up for grabs.
As you may have heard, Clemson will tangle with LSU in a few hours in New Orleans, with the winner claiming the 2019 College Football Playoff championship. Both head coaches, Dabo Swinney and Ed Orgeron of LSU, are already well-compensated, but have the opportunity to be even more so depending on the outcome.
According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, Swinney’s contract calls for a $250,000 if the ACC Tigers win the title. That’s a relative pittance compared to Orgeron, who would pull in $500,000 if the SEC Tigers are victorious.
Orgeron has already earned $1.275 million thus far this year for both his team’s performance and winning a handful of Coach of the Year awards. His counterpart, Swinney, has “only” earned $600,000 in bonuses for 2019.
On top of all of those bonuses, Orgeron could earn another $200,000 based on his team’s performance in the classroom.
At $9.3 million, Swinney was the highest-paid head coach in college football in 2019. Eight other coaches in the SEC made more than Orgeron’s $4 million.
The financial windfall, though, wouldn’t just be limited to the head coaches. From Berkowitz’s report:
The teams’ assistant coaches and head strength coaches also will have money at stake Monday night. Clemson’s can pick up an additional $25,000 with a win. That would give nine of the assistants and the strength coach a total of $95,000 apiece; defensive coordinator Brent Venables will be getting an another $200,000 based on team’s defense having already met a set of statistical goals.
Three of LSU’s assistants — Dave Aranda, Steve Ensminger and Tommie Robinson — can each get an extra $25,000 for a total of $125,000. The others, and the team’s head strength coach, can get an extra $15,000 for a total of $75,000 apiece. Ensminger, the team’s offensive coordinator, could get up to another $125,000 in statistics-based incentives, but how much he ends with will depend somewhat on what happens Monday night.
All of this financial talk and, yes, the players see a minuscule sliver of the billions of dollars generated by the sport. Still.
But, at least the coaches get theirs, right?