CLEMSON — For the first time in his head coaching career, Dabo Swinney is being paid like a top-20 coach.
In the first season of his fresh six-year contract and earning base and supplemental compensation of $4.42 million, Swinney ranks 12th in USA Today’s annual Division I college football head coaching salaries database released Wednesday.
Swinney ranked between 21st and 28th each of the past three seasons. He also is finally the state’s highest-paid coach; former South Carolina head man Steve Spurrier was consistently in the top 15 nationally. First-year Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp checks in at No. 36 at $3 million.
Just last year, Swinney ranked No. 26 in national salaries and was outearned by 12 SEC coaches. In April, his new $30.75 million contract was approved by Clemson’s board of trustees; he is on track to make $4.8 million in 2017 and top the $5 million mark starting in 2018.
USA Today reported Swinney’s 2015-16 bonuses at $1.1 million, the most in the country. Only three other coaches made more than half a million in incentives in 2015-16.
Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is the country’s highest-paid coach at just over $9 million. He’s followed by Alabama’s Nick Saban ($6.94 million), Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($6.09 million), Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops ($5.55 million) and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher ($5.25 million) in the top five.
The SEC West’s seven head coaches each rank in the top 17. Including Auburn’s Gus Malzahn ($4.73 million) at No. 8, Swinney and the Tigers are 5-2 against the country’s ten highest-paid coaches since New Year’s Day 2014.
Clemson running back Wayne Gallman has been full-go in practice this week after sitting out last week’s sessions following a concussion sustained Oct. 15 vs. N.C. State.
“Yep, practiced every rep,” Swinney said Wednesday afternoon, of Tuesday’s practice. “He’s practicing every day, practicing every rep. The plan is for him to practice. He’s good, he’s ready to go.”