CLEMSON — A second national championship in three years for the Clemson football program meant lofty raises were going to be in order for Clemson's coaches, and on Friday the university's Board of Trustees was happy to deliver.
Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott, the brains behind Clemson's offense, will each receive raises of $150,000 that will put them at $1 million for the upcoming season.
The offensive coordinators each made $850,000 in 2018, a year that saw Clemson go 15-0 and crush Alabama in the College Football Playoff national championship game. The Tigers' offense was elite all season under the two former Clemson players, who perfectly executed a quarterback change in midseason when they benched senior Kelly Bryant for freshman Trevor Lawrence.
Elliott and Scott have the option of taking all of the pay hike in salary or participating in a deferred compensation plan reserved for the upper-echelon of the university's top employees.
Their raises give Clemson three assistant coaches with salaries of at least $1 million. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables, whose contract will be negotiated later, agreed to a five-year deal in July that pays him a base salary of $2 million with incentives that can earn up to $11.6 million over the life of the contract.
Head coach Dabo Swinney's contract is expected to be negotiated later in the year. He currently makes $6.2 million in salary and is in line for a $1 million retention bonus in a few weeks. Swinney also will receive more than $1 million in incentives from the 2018 season.
With Swinney certain to get a pay hike, Clemson could top $15 million in coaches' pay for 2019.
"If we're not at the top (of the market), we're very near the top. I think that there are other universities and schools who are doing their compensation kind of at the same time we are, so I think that given the results on the field, that's the neighborhood of where we should be," said Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich.
"It was very important to Dabo as he went through and pulled all of this together understanding the good work that they (assistant coaches) have done. The fact that we have done a great job over the last few years of retaining the staff that's been here, there's been very little turnover. And I think that certainly helps with the culture and environment inside the program, and has helped create the outstanding results that we've had."
In addition to the coordinators, Clemson assistants also receiving raises were quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter, defensive tackles coach Todd Bates, defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell, safeties coach Mickey Conn, tight ends coach Danny Pearman and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed. Several members of the support staff were compensated, including strength and conditioning coach Joey Batson, whose salary goes from $500,000 to $600,000.
Streeter, who made $455,000 as the quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator in 2018, will now make $500,000. Bates and Hall, who each made $300,000 in 2018, will be paid $375,000 and $350,000, respectively.
Caldwell's salary will rise from $540,000 to $570,000, Pearman will jump from $480,000 to $505,000, Reed will go from $440,000 to $495,000 and Conn will make $400,000, up from $370,000.
Clemson has prided itself on keeping its staff together.
"Oh, (Dabo is) very involved. Very involved. He understands the importance of retaining the staff so he's very involved in pulling all that together," Radakovich said. "I think one of the board members talked about it: these are good increases, but they also do great work. The compensation was in line with performance. And that’s very important."