Dabo Swinney, Clemson Agree to Historic 10-Year, $93M Contract Through 2028

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2019

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Head Coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers celebrates on the field following the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

Dabo Swinney is not leaving Clemson anytime soon.

The university and its head football coach agreed to a 10-year, $93 million contract Friday, per Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports. The deal makes him the highest-paid college football coach in terms of total value and carries a $4 million buyout, per Anna Hickey of 247Sports and Brett McMurphy of Stadium. 

The deal carries an additional buyout clause should Swinney leave Clemson for Alabama, per Hickey:

Swinney, 49, has been at the South Carolina program since taking over for Tommy Bowden midway through the 2008 season. The Alabama native has led the Tigers to a 116-30 record and won two of the last three national championships. Clemson has reached the College Football Playoff in each of its first four years and made three title games.

While he's unquestionably one of the nation's premier coaches, his massive salary will undoubtedly draw criticism given Swinney's stance against paying college football players. 

Swinney told the Post and Courier (via College Football Talk) in 2014:

"We've got enough entitlement in this country as it is. To say these guys get nothing totally devalues an education. It just blows my mind people don't even want to quantify an education.

"I didn't get into coaching to make money—coaches weren't making any money when I got into coaching. It's what I wanted to do with my life, and I was able to do it because of my education. That's what changed my life. That's what changes everybody's life."

That position juxtaposed with a salary that's nearly eight figures (and no doubt is topped with endorsements) will likely be a tough pill to swallow for many.

From a performance perspective, there may be no better coach in America at the moment.

Swinney's bested Nick Saban in two of their three national championship battles while still not quite being able to unseat Alabama's stranglehold atop the recruiting rankings. It's fair to say Swinney has done a better job at developing his talent in recent years than Saban, who is the unquestioned top dog in college football to many.

Clemson will enter the 2019 season as a national championship favorite again, led by potential Heisman winner Trevor Lawrence. Given how he's built the program over his first decade at the helm, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Swinney stick around and create a legendary legacy at Clemson. 

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