Clemson to sign Brent Venables to new record-setting deal

Clemson to sign Brent Venables to new record-setting deal

Clemson's Board of Trustees met Thursday morning and approved new contracts of Venables and men's basketball coach Brad Brownell.

LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda holds the high water mark for an assistant's average salary after signing a $10 million contract in January.

Aranda averages $2.5 million per year for four seasons.

After upping his salary to $2 million a year in February, the school extended the deal to five seasons through 2022 and added retention bonuses that make the package worth $11.6 million.

Venables' son Jake recently enrolled at Clemson and will be a freshman linebacker on the football team this fall. He will be paid $400,000 in retention bonuses over its remainder. For years he's been extremely selective about head coaching opportunities, and this contract by Clemson is a proactive, strategic way to ensure that he'd only leave Clemson for a blue-blood head coaching job.

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Venables, 47, has always been considered one of college football's top defensive leaders, helping Oklahoma win a national title in 2000 and doing the same at Clemson in 2016.

The contract essentially prices Venables out of jobs in the Group of Five conferences and gives him incentive to be even more particular about Power Five head coaching jobs.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Venables is among the best at what he does and deserves all he gets. His other son, Tyler, plays football at nearby Daniel High School and has been offered by the Tigers. Venables has often said that he doesn't pursue head coaching opportunities - it was rumored that he turned down Arkansas a year ago (former Clemson assistant Chad Morris took the job) so he could stay with head coach Dabo Swinney.

Venables was a decorated coordinator at Oklahoma and assistant coach at Kansas State before coming to Clemson for the 2012 season.

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