CLEMSON — If Clemson or Dabo Swinney want to part ways in the near future, it will not be cheap.
Swinney, beginning his fourth full season as the Tigers’ head football coach, agreed in principle in June to a contract extension which runs through 2017 and pays him $1.965 million annually.
Clemson officials released his 22-page contract Thursday following Freedom of Information Act requests from the Independent-Mail and other media outlets. It features steep buyouts if Swinney is fired without cause or if he leaves Clemson for another position.
If Swinney is fired without cause, he will be owed 100 percent of his yearly salary in his first year post-Clemson, 90 percent his second year, 75 percent his third year and 60 percent for any year after.
For example, if Swinney was fired following the 2012 season, Clemson would owe him $7.75 million. If it happened following the 2013 season, it would be $6.35 million. After 2014, it would be $5.17 million. Following 2015, it would drop to $3.733 million, and following 2016 it would be $1.965 million.
If he departed for another position, Swinney would be on the hook for $3 million following this season, $2.5 million following 2013, $2 million in 2014, $1.5 million in 2015, $750,000 in 2016 and nothing in 2017.
Swinney’s new deal also contained a number of incentives. If he is Clemson’s coach on Nov. 30, 2013, he will receive a $500,000 longevity bonus. If Clemson makes the ACC title game, his annual salary will increase to the average of the ACC’s top five coaches. If the Tigers win an ACC title, the salary will meet the average of the top three ACC coaches’ contracts.
His assistants will benefit, too. If Clemson wins the ACC Atlantic Division, Clemson will provide a pool equaling six percent of the assistant coaches’ total salary to be distributed for raises. Win the ACC title? 10 percent. Win the BCS national title? 18 percent.
Swinney will recommend raises by Jan. 15, and will also be eligible for merit raises following an evaluation with the athletic director no later than 30 days following the conclusion of each season.
He will receive $150,000 for a BCS national title, or up to $200,000 if his team’s academic progress rate is equal or greater to the median rate of ACC and SEC public universities.
He will receive up to $100,000 for an ACC title or BCS bowl game win, and up to $75,000 for a BCS appearance. Swinney can also receive up to $50,000 if the Tigers win 12 games with the aforementioned academic success.
He will receive a $100,000 bonus for winning a national coach of the year award – such as the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year trophy he took home last January.