On the heels of the Clemson Tigers mowing through college football and annihilating Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game, head coach Dabo Swinney agreed to the biggest contract in the history of the sport. Swinney, who has led to two national titles in the last three years, agreed to a 10-year deal with the school worth $93 million.
According to ESPN, his average salary of $9.3 million per year is the same as Alabama’s Nick Saban. Here’s how the money he will receive breaks down.
The most interesting aspect of these contracts, other than how they look compared to that coach’s former statements on amateurism, is how the buyout works. As is oftentimes the case with major college football coaches, Swinney’s buyout isn’t huge — it’s $0 if he jumps to the NFL and starts at $4 million if he goes to another college program, then goes down by $1 million every two years.
There is one exception: Swinney’s alma mater, the University of Alabama. Instead of decreasing every year, his buyout would actually be a little more expensive on an annual basis if he jumped to Tuscaloosa, ostensibly to replace Saban.
Now, if Alabama wants a coach, it won’t care about buyouts, but it’s interesting nonetheless that Clemson tried putting forth a safeguard against this. Still, it doesn’t sound like Swinney has any intentions of leaving for now.
“I am grateful and humbled by the incredible commitment Clemson has made to me, my family and our football program,” Swinney said in a statement, per ESPN. “For more than a decade, we have given our all to provide this world-class university and our incredible fans the championship football program they deserve — to live up to Best is the Standard.
“With this contract, we make a collective statement that we intend to continue pursuing championships and developing total student-athletes for years to come,” Swinney continued. “Our sustained continuity in vision, people and culture has been a key ingredient to our success, on- and off-the field. I am thankful for the leadership we have at Clemson and appreciate all they do for Clemson Football. I am truly blessed to be your Head Football Coach.”