Quite literally the rich keep getting richer. On Thursday, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables was handed a five year contract extension, worth $11.6 million. Venables now has the highest total compensation package among assistant coaches in college football. He will make roughly $2 million a year, with several incentives and retention bonuses. Only LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda makes more per year as Aranda recently signed a four year deal worth $10.
Venables has been at Clemson for six seasons and the Tigers have won at least ten games every year including the 2016 National Championship.
He has been an integral part of head coach Dabo Swinney's success at Clemson and if he chooses to leave the Tigers in a year or two for a head coaching position elsewhere, he has a -zero- dollar payout. If he leaves for another defensive coordinator position, he has to pay back 25%.
Smart head coaches surround themselves with great assistant coaches and they pay them well. Dabo Swinney has done that the entire time he has been at Clemson and to simply say that plan has paid off is a tremendous understatement. Going into the 2018 season, Coach Venables has the top defensive front in college football. They are big, they are fast and they are dominant. That defensive line could be the reason the Tigers are clear cut favorites to win a fourth consecutive ACC Championship and make the College Football Playoffs a fourth year in a row as well. And they could have three first round choices in next spring's NFL draft.
What this new contract for Venables has done is price him out of a head coaching position anywhere outside of the power five conferences. He has always been very selective about a head coaching position offer and his new deal at Clemson allows him to be even more selective. Besides, he has another incentive to stay at Clemson for a while. He has a son who is a scholarship linebacker for the Tigers and he has a younger son who has been offered a scholarship as well as a high school junior.
Brent Venables has been at the top of the college football list of defensive geniuses for several years now. He is a former Broyles Award winner as the nation's top assistant coach and he has a reputation as an outstanding recruiter. He also has a reputation as a fiery presence on the Clemson sideline during games. In fact, Venables has his own personal " Get Back " coach. I'm sure you've seen Clemson assistant Adam Smotherman grab Venable's belt and pull him back to the sidelines many times when Clemson plays. That is Smotherman's only job during a game and he does it very well. Now that Coach Venables has even more money in his pocket, he can now afford to pay a second " Get Back " coach if he needs to.