Dabo Swinney, Clemson agree to new contract
CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson Director of Athletics Graham Neff announced today that Clemson and Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney have agreed to a new, enhanced contract. The terms of the agreement, approved by the Clemson University Board of Trustees Compensation Committee on Thursday, extend Swinney’s contract through the 2031 football season.
According to the new contract, Swinney will be paid $10.5 million in 2022 and $12.5 million by the end of the deal in 2030.
The contract reflects both Swinney’s status as one of the nation’s elite coaches and Clemson’s continued commitment to its storied football program. Swinney, who has led Clemson to two of its three national titles in school history, is one of only two active head coaches with multiple FBS national championships.
“I am appreciative of the support from the Board of Trustees to President Clements to ensure we can continue to build on a firm foundation, as Clemson football and Coach Swinney’s leadership are a key driver for our university,” said Neff. “Coach Swinney and his family’s impact on our community and department cannot be understated, and his success and stability nationally is truly uncommon. It is critical that Clemson continue to invest in our football program, and ensure our head coach is at Clemson for a long, long time. The best is yet to come.”
The two-time national champion, seven-time ACC champion and three-time Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year reached 150 career wins in his 186th game as head coach in 2021. In terms of games played, Swinney became the sixth-fastest coach in FBS history — and the fourth-fastest in the modern era — to reach 150 career wins, trailing Urban Meyer (176), Gil Dobie (180), Barry Switzer (180), Fielding Yost (184) and Joe Paterno (184). Including Swinney, only 16 coaches in FBS history have accomplished the feat within 200 games, and 14 of the 16 have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, with the lone exceptions being Swinney and Meyer, both of whom are not yet eligible.
Now entering his 15th season (and his 14th full season), Swinney (151) stands in third place in FBS history for the most coaching wins in the first 15 seasons of a head coaching career, trailing only Meyer (165) and Bob Stoops (160). Swinney and his teams have won at least 10 games in 11 consecutive seasons, placing Swinney alongside Bobby Bowden and Nick Saban as the only coaches in FBS history to accomplish the feat.
“It is hard for me to believe I am in my 14th full season as your head coach, and I remain eternally grateful and honored for the opportunity to continue coaching and developing young people of excellence at Clemson.” Swinney said. “This agreement is representative of what has been collectively built here and the success we’ve had both academically and athletically. It is a reflection of the ALL IN commitment of so many people, including our players, our staff, our fans, our administration and our University leadership. While I am certainly proud of our accomplishments on the field, the most rewarding part remains the relationships forged within this program and the ability to positively impact those around us.”
Swinney added: “I am appreciative of the leadership of President Jim Clements, our Board of Trustees and Director of Athletics Graham Neff, and I am thankful for their continued faith in me as well as their steadfast commitment to the future of Clemson Football. Our core mission remains unchanged: Graduate our players, equip them with the tools they need for life, give them a great college experience, and win championships. I do not take for granted the Clemson Family’s unwavering love and support and its faith in our program to carry out that mission every day. It is a blessing to be your head coach and to call Clemson our home.”
Swinney’s impact on the young men in the football program and the larger Clemson community has transcended on-field efforts at Memorial Stadium and beyond. Presently, of 328 eligible players who completed their athletic eligibility at Clemson and/or graduated early in his head coaching tenure, 322 (98 percent) have earned a degree during their time at Clemson.
In June 2022, Clemson shattered its multi-year Academic Progress Rate record with a 999 covering the 2017-18 through 2020-21 academic years, tying for the Football Bowl Subdivision lead and trailing only Columbia University of the Ivy League among all Division I programs. Clemson’s lofty academic success in that period coincided with on-field excellence that included four ACC titles, four College Football Playoff berths, two national championship game berths and the 2018 national championship.
Clemson’s football success has mirrored Clemson University’s continued ascent as one of the nation’s premier public universities. As Clemson has made six College Football Playoff appearances in the last seven years, the University has set records in applications, fundraising and numerous academic benchmarks while being named in August as one of the nation’s three most-trusted public universities.
“Over the past 20 years, Coach Swinney has impacted our football program, our university and the entire Clemson area community, in profound ways. The culture of success and achievement he has instilled in our student-athletes, through both on-field victories and academic accomplishments, is truly remarkable,” said Clemson President Jim Clements. “I’m excited Dabo, Kathleen, and their family will remain part of the Clemson Family for years to come.”
Now in his 20th overall season at Clemson including his time as an assistant coach, Swinney and his family have become key philanthropic figures in the Upstate and throughout South Carolina. His charitable foundation — Dabo’s All In Team Foundation — has given more than $7.8 million back to communities and programs in the state. In 2021, the foundation distributed roughly $1.2 million in financial support to its core focus areas, with $800,000 being distributed to more than 200 deserving organizations and non-profits through the foundation’s grant program.