Dabo Swinney’s Contract & Salary: Clemson Win Earns Coach Huge Bonus

Getty Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers

Christoper “Dabo” Swinney first took over as head coach of the Clemson Tigers in 2008 and has led the team to win the National College Football Championship games in both 2016 and 2018. Looking to have back-to-back titles, Clemson, after a perfect season, will face up against the LSU Tigers in the NCAA Football Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orealons, Louisiana, on Monday night.

If Clemson defeats LSU, not only will Swinney be doused in Gatorade, his bank account will receive a large bonus. If his future NFL star quarterback Trevor Lawrence seals a victory for the Tigers, according to USA Today, Swinney earns a National Championship game bonus of $500K. If LSU defeats Clemson, head coach Orgeron will haul an extra $500K into his bank account.

While it may seem unfair that Orgeron’s bonus is double that of Swinney’s, according to USA Today’s 2019 NCAA Football Coach salaries, as Clemson’s head coach, he makes more than double in salary than his opponent. In fact, no other coach in college football is paid more than Swinney. With a contract worth over $9.2 million, he owns the No. 1 spot on the list, earning about $368K more than the coach who nabbed the second-highest ranking, Alabama’s Nick Saban.


Clemson Has A Contract Buyout On Swinney Worth $50 Million

Head coach Dabo Swinney and Trevor Lawrence of the Clemson Tigers

While Swinney’s regular contract is already impressive, Clemson’s buyout price on him is a jaw-dropping $50 million. In comparison, Saban’s buyout is $34.1 million, and while Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher has a lower salary at $7.5 million, his buyout is an astonishing $60.6 million.

What does having such a high contract buyout mean? It means that if Clemson loses, and the school wants to fire Swinney, his representation has already negotiated to ensure that upon terminated without cause, he will receive the maximum amount of the compensation initially promised.


Swinney Has Earned $600K In Bonus Money During The 2019-20 Season

Head coach Dabo Swinney (L) and defensive coordinator Brent Venables (R)

With the Clemson Tigers going 12-0 in the regular season and winning both playoff games which led to the national championship, Swinney has been compensated for each milestone. According to USA Today, Swinney has earned over $5 million in bonuses over the last five seasons of his tenure.

Swinney is not the only person on staff who benefits when Clemson wins. The team’s assistant coaches, Dave Aranda, Steve Ensminger, and Tommie Robinson will each earn $25K in bonuses if the Tigers are victorious Monday night. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables will see an extra $200 deposited into his bank account.

While all these bonuses seem insane, Clemson is playing in the national championship game for the third time in the last four years. Their superstar quarterback has thrown for 3,960 yards this season and 36 touchdowns, and Clemson has the nation’s top-ranked defense, according to Football Outsiders. Clemson leads the country in scoring defense (10.6 points per game) and total defense (244.7 yards per game)

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