Swinney gets biggest deal in college football

Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney agreed to a 10-year, $93 million deal on Friday, making it the largest deal in college football history.

Swinney, who has won two national championships with the Tigers, is on par to make the same average salary as Alabama coach Nick Saban. Both are set to average $9.3 over the course of their respective deals.

Swinney, who began his Clemson head-coaching career as interim coach in 2008, has led a remarkable rise for a school that had one national championship in its history before he took over for Tommy Bowden.

With his folksy charm and culture centered on his “All In” mentality, Clemson has emerged as a force in college football with no signs of letting up.

With Trevor Lawrence back behind center, Clemson goes into the 2019 season as a heavy favorite to return to the College Football Playoff.

When Swinney was promoted by then-AD Terry Don Phillips at the end of the 2008 season in his first deal as full-time head coach at Clemson, he was paid $800,000 a year.

“He way overpaid me,” Swinney quipped Friday to ESPN.

Swinney is set to make $8.25 million in the first two years of the new deal, increasing to $10 million in 2028, the last year of the contract.

“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. “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. 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.”

If Swinney were to leave for another collegiate head-coaching position in the first two years of his deal, the buyout would be $4 million. But the buyout increases to $6 million if he were to leave for Alabama over the next two years. There is no buyout if he leaves for an NFL job.

“Dabo’s leadership of our football program has brought value, exposure and unprecedented levels of success not only to our athletics program but to the entire university,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement.

“He has demonstrated the ability to consistently achieve at the highest level on and off the field, and he has done so with a commitment to integrity and core principles. This new agreement is evidence of Clemson’s steadfast commitment to Dabo and to our football program, and we are thrilled that he and his family will be a part of our community for years to come.”

Swinney is entering his 17th overall season at Clemson, including his time as an assistant coach from 2003 to 2007. His 116 head-coaching wins at Clemson rank second all time.

Meanwhile, Radakovich agreed to a contract extension through June 30, 2024. He is set to make $1.2 million for the 2019-20 athletic season, increasing to $1.4 million in the final year of the deal.

ESPN’s Chris Low contributed to this report.

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