Dabo Swinney

Despite falling short of the mark (winning the ACC and maybe going to the national title game), the people running things at Clemson are quite happy with Dabo Swinney, earning him an 8-year extension that keeps him as the Tigers’ head coach until 2021.

Because it’s always about the big goal and picture in College football (or at least it should be). Which means that even though he’s lost to Florida State two years in a row and not being able to beat South Carolina for the last five years, Clemson have risen in the national perspective, not to mention winning a BCS Bowl by beating Ohio State in the 2014 Orange Bowl, erasing that loss against West Virginia two years ago.

Swinney will make $3.15 million in 2014, up from the $2.2 million he made this season. No South Carolina state employee can earn more than $2.45 million a year, so there was some trickery used in the documents to get him that raise. It will rise to $3.45 million a season in 2016, and in that three-year period he’ll have to pay the school $5 million if he wants to leave. If Clemson wins the ACC championship in 2014, ’15 or ’16, his salary will jump to $3.5 million the following year, while bowl appearances or a spot in the College Football playoff will earn him more incentives.

Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich: Dabo is one of the top coaches not only in the ACC but in the entire nation. His teams have succeeded on the field, in the classroom and in the community. We’re excited to have him lead our program for a long time into the future.

Dabo Swinney: I’m extremely excited and appreciative for the opportunity to continue to build our program under the leadership of President Jim Clements and our athletic director Dan Radakovich. The future of Clemson University is extremely bright and the future of our football program is as well. While we have accomplished many goals, we still have several out there to reach and we will continue to work to get there. Kathleen and I are looking forward to continuing to be a part of the great community of Clemson, the Upstate and the state of South Carolina.

Swinney has been coaching Clemson since 2008 after spending five years as an assistant and wide receivers coach. He took over six games into the 2008 season after Tommy Bowden resigned. After a rough start, things have picked up over the last three season, finishing ranked in both major polls, including the top 10 over the last two. Clemson have won 10 games or more in three consecutive seasons (11-2 last couple of years, both losses against SC and FSU), winning two consecutive bowl games against major opponents: LSU and Ohio State. Clemson has five victories against teams ranked in the top 10 in the last three years; only Alabama and Oklahoma have more (six each).

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