Clemson cemented its relationship with Dabo Swinney on Saturday, as the university's board of trustees approved a new eight-year, $27 million contract heavily loaded with additional incentives based on performance.
The contract, a four-year extension and enhancement of his current deal, will raise Swinney's total compensation to $3.15 million in 2014, $3.3 million and then $3.45 million in each of the next six seasons. Bonuses and raises are built into the contract based on regular-season victories, ACC championships, College Football Playoff appearances and the team's academic success.
“Dabo is one of the top coaches not only in the ACC but in the entire nation,” said Clemson director of athletics Dan Radakovich in a statement. “His teams have succeeded on the field, in the classroom and in the community. We’re excited to have him lead our program for a long time into the future.”
One of the factors in the eight-year term of the contract was Swinney's desire for his sons to complete high school in Clemson. His youngest, Clay, is now a fourth-grader.
“I’m extremely excited and appreciative for the opportunity to continue to build our program under the leadership of President Jim Clements and our athletic director Dan Radakovich,” Swinney said. “The future of Clemson University is extremely bright and the future of our football program is as well.
“While we have accomplished many goals, we still have several out there to reach and we will continue to work to get there. Kathleen and I are looking forward to continuing to be a part of the great community of Clemson, the Upstate and the state of South Carolina.”
Beginning in 2016, Swinney's supplemental pay can increase between $100,000 and $300,000, based on nine or more regular-season wins. Increases earned will remain in effect for the duration of the contract.
Should the Tigers win the ACC title in any of the first three years of the contract, his total compensation would jump to $3.5 million the next year. He would earn an additional $400,000 should Clemson reach the four-team playoff and another $400,000 for a national title.
The contract includes an additional $25,000 for bowl appearances and $25,000 for bowl victories.
Should Clemson terminate Swinney without cause in the first three years, the school would be liable for the full remaining value of the contract. After that, the liability would be 75 percent of the contract's remaining value.
If another school were to hire Swinney, it would owe Clemson $5 million in the first three years of the contract, and then a decreasing amount in subsequent years.
The compensation package will make Swinney one of the nation's 15 highest paid coaches.
In his five and a half seasons at Clemson, Swinney has compiled a 51-23 overall record and a 33-12 mark against ACC competition. The Tigers have played in bowl games in each of his seasons, and have recorded three straight double-digit victory seasons – the first for the program since 1988-90. Clemson has won 11 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in its history.
Clemson finished the 2013 season ranked seventh in the final USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the highest ranking in any final poll for the program since the Tigers won the national championship in 1981.
Swinney's record includes five victories over teams ranked in the top-10 in the last three years are exceeded only by Alabama and Oklahoma, who each have six.
Off the field, Swinney’s teams have finished among the nation’s top 10 in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Report each of the last three years. The program leads the ACC with 29 All-ACC Academic selections during Swinney's tenure.
Swinney has encouraged the participation of his players in various community service projects, and he and his wife's 'All In Foundation' has brought attention to education and health issues and has pledged nearly $1 million to local organizations over the past four years.