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With nine assistants making $500K, Clemson now has college football's highest-paid staff

Clemson on Wednesday announced promotions and adjustments following its staff attrition at the conclusion of the 2019 season. This being Clemson, that attrition amounted simply to co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Jeff Scott becoming the head coach at South Florida.

And though Clemson lost only one assistant and his $1 million salary, and filled his spot by promoting from within, the Tigers will pay their coaching staff more in 2020 than 2019.

Dabo Swinney and his 10 on-the-field assistants will make $16.395 million in 2020, a 5 percent increase from the $15.645 million the group last year. The $1 million savings generated by losing Scott were almost entirely eaten up by corresponding promotions to fill his spot:

- Tony Elliott earned a $600,000 raise in taking over the sole offensive coordinator role.
- Quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter netted a $90,000 raise in adding passing game coordinator duties.
- Tyler Grisham will earn $300,000 as wide receivers coach.

Though Elliott earned the largest raise in terms of raw dollars, Grisham was the biggest winner by scale, netting a nearly 250 percent raise from his $86,000 salary as an offensive analyst.

Defensive line coaches Todd Bates (tackles) and Lemanski Hall (ends) also netted roughly 40 percent raises, pushing nine of Swinney's 10 assistants above the half-million dollar mark. Not included in the chart below is strength coach Joey Batson, who earned $600,000 in 2019.

Swinney himself saw his salary remain stagnant at $8.25 million as part of the 10-year, $93 million contract he signed last year. He'll get a raise to $8.5 million in 2021 and reach the $10 million mark by 2027.

Elliott is now the nation's highest-paid offensive coordinator, while Venables is the second highest-paid defensive coordinator, trailing only Auburn's Kevin Steele. Swinney is annually neck-and-neck with Nick Saban for the title of college football's highest-paid coach.

Salary details come courtesy of the Greenville (S.C.) News.


2019 Salary

2020 Salary


Dabo Swinney (HC)

$8.25 million

$8.25 million


Brent Venables (DC/LBs)

$2.2 million

$2.4 million

$200,000 (9%)

Tony Elliott (OC/RBs)

$1 million

$1.6 million

$600,000 (60%)

Robbie Caldwell (OL)



$70,000 (12%)

Brandon Streeter (PCG/QBs)



$90,000 (18%)

Danny Pearman (STC/TEs)



$40,000 (8%)

Mike Reed (CBs)



$45,000 (9.%)

Todd Bates (DTs/RC)



$140,000 (37%)

Mickey Conn (Safeties)



$115,000 (29%)

Lemanski Hall (DEs)



$150,000 (43%)

Tyler Grisham (WRs)



$214,000 (249%)


$15.645 million*

$16.395 million

$750,000 (5%)

* - Includes Scott's $1 million salary; Grisham's $86,000 salary not included

At $8.145 million, the Clemson staff's title as the sport's highest-paid is most likely short lived. Alabama has not released its staff pay for 2020 yet, and the Crimson Tide could nudge ahead at that time.