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Clemson makes Venables college football's top-paid assistant coach

With Brent Venables new deal worth $2.5 million per year and the salaries committed to head coach Dabo Swinney and offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, Clemson has earmarked more than $13 million annually for its top three football coaches.

Once again, Brent Venables fielded multiple inquiries this offseason about potential head-coaching opportunities around college football.

And once again, Clemson held onto its esteemed defensive coordinator.

The end result for Venables? He's now college football's highest-paid assistant coach.

Clemson officials on Wednesday revealed that the school had awarded Venables an extended five-year deal worth $2.5 million per year that matches what both Steve Sarkisian and Kevin Steele made last season as college football's top-two earning assistant coaches.

Sarkisian now is Texas' head coach, and Steele had an eventful offseason that saw him briefly serve as Tennessee's interim coach before new UT athletics director Danny White tabbed Josh Heupel to run Vols' football.

Venables' new pact is all part of Tigers' head coach Dabo Swinney preserving the hierarchy of his coaching staff this offseason, after Venables was courted by multiple teams and Tigers offensive coordinator Tony Elliott was seriously pursued for the aforementioned opening on Rocky Top.

With Elliott's new deal announced in February at approximately $2 million per year, Venables' new $2.5 million term and Swinney's mega, 10-year deal inked April 2019, the Tigers' athletics department has committed more than $13 million per year moving forward for its top three football coaches.

A former Broyles Award winner as college football's top assistant coach, Venables has been a part of three national championship teams as a coach – one at Oklahoma, two at Clemson – and has helped Clemson go a perfect 6-0 in ACC Championship games, with just as many College Football Playoffs appearances.