Clemson and Dabo sign biggest deal in college football history; Radakovich receives contract extension

CUTrevor 2019-04-26 12:00:23

CLEMSON, S.C. —Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney and the University have agreed to a new Ten-year contract through 2028, it was announced today by Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich. Terms of the contract were approved earlier today by the Clemson University Board of Trustees’ Compensation Committee.

"Dabo’s leadership of our football program has brought value, exposure and unprecedented levels of success not only to our athletics program but to the entire university," Radakovich said. "He has demonstrated the ability to consistently achieve at the highest level on and off the field, and he has done so with a commitment to integrity and core principles. This new agreement is evidence of Clemson’s steadfast commitment to Dabo and to our football program, and we are thrilled that he and his family will be a part of our community for years to come.”

Swinney guided the Tigers to two of the last three national championships, including a 44-16 victory over Alabama in the most recent College Football Playoff National Championship played in January. The 2018 team was the first program in the modern era to finish a season 15-0, and Swinney stands as one of only two active coaches in the country with multiple FBS national championships to his credit. 

“I am grateful and humbled by the incredible commitment Clemson has made to me, my family and our football program,” Swinney said. “For more than a decade, we have given our all to provide this world-class university and our incredible fans the championship football program they deserve – to live up to Best is the Standard. With this contract, we make a collective statement that we intend to continue pursuing championships and developing total student-athletes for years to come. Our sustained continuity in vision, people and culture has been a key ingredient to our success, on- and off-the field. I am thankful for the leadership we have at Clemson and appreciate all they do for Clemson Football. I am truly blessed to be your Head Football Coach.”

During Swinney’s tenure, the success of Clemson football student-athletes transcends the titles on the field. Twenty-six players on the 2018 National Championship game roster competed having already earned a degree. Over his ten full seasons as head coach, over 97% of senior lettermen earned a degree and his 2018 squad set program records for cumulative team GPA and for the number of student-athletes who earned a GPA of 3.0 or above. Their efforts in the classroom earned the program the American Football Coaches Association Academic Achievement Award for the first time in school history.

“The football program, under the direction of Coach Swinney, has been a great source of pride for the Clemson Family,” said President Jim Clements. “The success of the football program has helped to elevate the entire profile of the institution. We’ve seen all-time highs in applications, fundraising and numerous other areas. This is in part due to the national visibility that our football team’s success has brought to the university. We are excited to have Coach Swinney and his family with us for at least another decade.”

In addition to earning the 2018 ACC Coach of the Year and the Woody Hayes Award as national coach of the year from the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Swinney captured the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award for the third time, becoming the first three-time honoree in the award's history. During the last four seasons of the program's active eight-year streak of ten-win seasons, Swinney's Tigers have captured four consecutive outright ACC titles (the first program ever to do so) and four consecutive College Football Playoff berths, while tying for the national lead with 55 wins in that four-year span.

Swinney is entering his 17th overall season at Clemson, having completed five full seasons as an assistant coach from 2003-07, serving as the interim head coach in 2008 and ten full seasons as head coach from 2009-18. His 116 head coaching wins at Clemson rank second all-time and place him as one of only two football coaches in school history, along with College Football Hall-of-Famer Frank Howard, to reach the century mark in the category.

Swinney and his wife, Kathleen, have been active in the Clemson community and throughout the state of South Carolina during his tenure. Since 2009, the Swinney family and Dabo’s All In Team Foundation have given more than $4 million back to communities and programs in the state.


Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich and Clemson University agreed to a contract extension that runs through June 30, 2024, the university announced on Friday. Radakovich has served in the role since 2012, and his tenure has been marked by growth in a number of areas.

"Dan’s commitment to developing our student-athletes continues to result in outstanding achievements on the field and in the classroom,” Clemson president Dr. Jim Clements said. “In my opinion he’s the best athletic director in the country, and I’m excited to have Dan lead our athletic department into the future."

Radakovich was named Sports Business Journal’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2017 after the football program claimed the first of its two national championships in the past three years. In addition, men’s basketball made a run to the Sweet 16 in 2018, and head Coach Amanda Butler led women’s basketball to the NCAA second round in her first season in 2019. 

“I am grateful to President Clements and the Board of Trustees for this commitment,” said Radakovich. “Certainly, their leadership plays an integral role in the success of the Athletic Department. Clemson is already among the elite nationally in a number of areas, and we’ll continue to work tirelessly to provide opportunities for our programs to achieve at the highest level, on and off the field.”

In 2018, the department saw its highest cumulative GPA on record and set a school record with seven programs earning NCAA Academic Progress Rate awards.

Department revenue has nearly doubled over the past six years, from $69 million in FY14 to more than $120 million in 2019. Clemson also agreed a new 10-year, $58 million partnership with Nike that spans all sports. 

Since taking over in 2012, more than $180 million of capital projects have been completed, headlined by a rebuilt Littlejohn Coliseum, the Reeves Football Operations Complex, Duckworth Family Tennis Center, Baseball Operations facility and the new softball stadium, set to open in 2020.