Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney to take $687,500 pay cut this year due to pandemic

Scott Keepfer
Greenville News

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney’s salary will be reduced by $687,500 as the result of cost-cutting measures announced Monday by the university due to the ongoing financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All athletic department employees who make more than $400,000 annually, including nine of Swinney's assistant coaches, have voluntarily accepted at least a 10 percent reduction in compensation, Clemson said. It will begin Sept. 1 and continue through the remaining 10 months of the fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2021, according to the school.

Swinney, who agreed to a 10-year, $93 million contract extension in April 2019, was scheduled to make $8.25 million this year, according to the term sheet of his contract. That means with his pay cut, he’ll make $7,562,500.

Swinney’s $687,500 reduction in pay exceeds the annual salaries of at least 24 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches, according to USA TODAY Sports’ 2019 NCAA Football Coaches Salaries database.

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Clemson also on Monday announced furloughs for employees who earn more than $50,000 a year. The furloughs will be between two and 12 days, depending on pay, and will be taken between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.

The furloughs will impact first-year wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham, who's the only one of Swinney's 10 full-time assistants who makes less than $400,000.  

The total financial impact of the athletic department’s pay cuts and furloughs is projected to be $3.4 million, according to athletic department spokesperson Jeff Kallin.

The pay reductions will impact 14 people in athletics in addition to Swinney, including nine of his assistant coaches as well as football strength and conditioning coach Joey Batson, men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell, women’s basketball coach Amanda Butler, baseball coach Monte Lee and director of athletics Dan Radakovich.

Football assistant coaches who make in excess of $400,000 include defensive coordinator Brent Venables ($2.0 million), offensive coordinator Tony Elliott ($1.6 million), as well as offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell, quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter, tight ends coach Danny Pearman, cornerbacks coach Mike Reed, defensive tackles coach Todd Bates, safeties coach Mickey Conn and defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall.