CLEMSON — The more Clemson wins, the better head coach Dabo Swinney’s bank account looks.
It’s postseason time, when head coaches around the country begin collecting bonuses on everything from bowl berths to high Academic Progress Rate. Swinney is in a position to let his 2015 earnings continue to climb from his $3.3 million salary earned through base, supplemental and licensing pay this year.
Start here: after earning his first ACC Coach of the Year nod Tuesday, Swinney is due a $25,000 bonus. Because Clemson’s APR is above a score of 950, Swinney made $75,000 for that. He also earned a $50,000 bonus by making the ACC Championship Game, and if Clemson defeats North Carolina Saturday, that’s another $50,000 bonus for winning the league title.
Because Clemson is ranked No. 1, a win Saturday almost assuredly places the Tigers in the College Football Playoff. That would be worth $400,000 to Swinney, thus bringing his total 2015 postseason bonus total to $600,000.
If Clemson wins either the Orange or Cotton Bowl, this year’s CFB Playoff semifinal locations, that’s another $400,000 — that would bring Swinney to a cool million in bonuses alone. A College Football Playoff championship game victory is worth $100,000.
Swinney makes $245,000 annually in base salary and $500,000 for licensing rights, enabling Clemson to use his name and likeness. His supplemental pay will rise $150,000 in 2016, bringing next year’s guaranteed salary to $3.45 million.
Swinney signed a contract extension in January 2014, keeping him tied to Clemson through the 2021 season. If Swinney took a job at another university before 2017, he or his new employer would owe Clemson $5 million; however, if Clemson were to fire Swinney for cause before 2017, Swinney is owed the entirety of the contract’s earnings, which were worth $27.15 million upon signing.
Swinney is preparing for his 100th game as a head coach, compiling a 73-26 record.
The Tigers’ injury report is clear, indicating freshman wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud has the thumbs-up to return to action Saturday after injuring his knee Nov. 7 vs. Florida State. He is expected to back up Clemson leading receiver Artavis Scott.
McCloud has 23 receptions this year.
ACC Championship festivities begin Friday in Charlotte with a press conference at 1 p.m. with Swinney and UNC coach Larry Fedora at Bank of America Stadium.
Former Clemson linebacker Anthony Simmons will honored among other 14 others at the “ACC Night of Legends” dinner program at the Charlotte Convention Center. Pitt’s Tony Dorsett, Florida State’s Warrick Dunn and Miami’s Clinton Portis are running backs in this year’s legends class.