Clemson made a move to ensure the future of the football program Friday morning — when the school signed head coach Dabo Swinney to an eight-year, $54 million contract extension. The new deal will keep Swinney on the sidelines through 2024, and makes him the third highest-paid coach in college football, behind Michigan's Jim Harbaugh and Alabama's Nick Saban.
"Dabo’s impact on our football program, our university and our community is immeasurable and goes well beyond the on-field successes and national championship,” said Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich in the school's official release. "This new agreement demonstrates our strong commitment to Dabo and our confidence in his leadership now — and in the future — and his long-term commitment to Clemson. We are thrilled that he and his family will be a part of the Clemson Family for years to come.”
This announcement comes on the heels of the school's second national championship, which Swinney and his Tigers earned in a 35-31 win over Alabama in January.
It was Swinney's 89th win as Clemson head coach, and it put him within shouting distance of number two on the all-time win list at Clemson. He comes into the 2017-18 season with an 89-28 record as Clemson head coach, just seven wins away from tying Danny Ford for second on the all-time wins list.
Swinney could conceivably take the No. 1 spot on that list by the end of this contract extension. Long-time head coach Frank Howard owns the top spot with a 165-118 career record, so Swinney needs 76 wins to get there.
Swinney's Tigers played 110 games over his first eight full seasons (plus seven more in his first, partial season), so if we assume they will play the same number of games over his next eight seasons, he will only need a winning percentage of .690 to tie the record. That's a significant drop from his current winning percentage of .761 as Clemson head coach.
If he does manage to exactly tie Howard's win total by the end of this contract extension, he will have done so with 56 fewer losses.