Spring 2021 Magazine

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney signs 8-year, $54 million extension

Dabo Swinney is going to stay in purple and orange for the foreseeable future.

Clemson University announced the signing of Swinney to a 8-year, $54 million extension. According to the terms, Swinney will make an average of $6.75 million a year, making him the third highest paid coach in college football.

Swinney’s contract is a major pay raise from what he first made as an assistant head coach in 1993, as detailed by Darren Rovell with ESPN.

Swinney helped the Tigers capture the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship 35-31 over Alabama. He’s led Clemson to an 89-28 record over his first nine seasons (eight full seasons) in Clemson, earning the Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year Award in 2015 and 2016 and the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2009 and 2015. The Tigers have posted a 54-15 record in Atlantic Coast Conference games since Swinney took over, and advanced to postseason bowls every year and have recorded a 70-13 record over the past six season.

“Dabo’s impact on our football program, our university and our community is immeasurable and goes well beyond the on-field successes and national championship,” said Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich in a statement. “This new agreement demonstrates our strong commitment to Dabo and our confidence in his leadership now—and in the future—and his long-term commitment to Clemson.  We are thrilled that he and his family will be a part of the Clemson Family for years to come.”

One player that has been greatly influenced by Dabo Swinney is receiver Hunter Renfrow, who spoke about Coach Swinney’s impact in the Sports Spectrum Podcast hosted by Jason Romano.

“The one thing I will say about Coach Swinney is that he genuinely cares about people,” Renfrow said. “He’s such a great role model for anyone. Whether you’re a receiver or an offensive lineman, whoever it is. He’s taught me far more about life then he has football. And that’s a credit to him and what he believes in.”

Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow (13) after scoring a touchdown vs Alabama at the 2017 National Championship Game in Tampa, Florida. (Photo Courtesy: David Platt, Clemson)

Swinney, an avid Christian, has not been shy about his faith. In a video with the Associated Press, he talked about how his Christian faith influences how he coaches his team.

“I just try to be who I am and I try to be transparent; I don’t try to judge people or anything like that,” Swinney says in the video. “I just try to live my life in a way that I hope is pleasing to my Maker, but as far as our program, we just try to challenge these guys to be the best that they can be each and every day…I hope that regardless of what somebody’s faith is, I hope that whether they choose the faith that I have or not, I hope that I can be a good example for them in life, as far as being a good husband and good father.”

The champion Tigers open the 2017 season on September 2nd at home against Kent State.