Tony Elliott receives hefty pay raise as Clemson assistants get new deals

Matt Connolly
·3 min read

Tony Elliott is Clemson’s lone offensive coordinator after Jeff Scott left to take over the South Florida program in December, and now Elliott is getting paid like a man who is responsible for keeping the Tigers’ offense elite.

Elliott received the largest pay raise among Clemson assistants on Thursday morning as the Clemson Board of Trustees approved new contracts for all 10 of Clemson’s assistant coaches.

Elliott, who served as the co-offensive coordinator for the Tigers from 2015-2019, had his salary increased from $1 million to $1.6 million, a 60 percent increase. The raise could move Elliott into the top 10 as far as highest paid assistant coaches in the country based on USA Today’s assistant coaches pay database. There were only six assistant coaches in the country to make more than $1.6 million in 2019.

“It was market, it was deserved. It was something that was very much on Dabo’s radar when he and I sat down. Really, really happy that we were able to get this salary package pulled together for him to stay here, and that the board was with us and was able to approve that,” Clemson AD Dan Radakovich said. “Tony is an incredibly loyal individual. He loves Clemson. He’s a Clemson man. I think that this just starts to talk about that commitment from Clemson back to Tony and his family.”

LSU’s Dave Aranda was the highest paid assistant in 2019, making $2.5 million. Aranda left to become the head coach at Baylor this offseason, but Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele received a bump to $2.5 million last month, making him the highest-paid assistant in the country in terms of yearly compensation.

There was speculation that Venables could become the highest paid assistant in the country, surpassing Steele, but that did not take place. Venables had one year added to his contract but did not receive a raise. He is making $2.4 million per year for five years. Venables’ five-year, $12 million contract is the largest in the country for an assistant in terms of total compensation.

“We really love Brent. He loves us here, and we think he’s compensated incredibly well,” Radakovich said when asked if there was talk of moving Venables’ salary higher than Steele’s. “I think when you get to spots where Tony is, where Jeff was, where Brent is, your next moves are moving on to becoming head coaches. It’s a good thing for us to keep him here.”

Clemson also officially approved Tyler Grisham as the wide receivers coach, replacing Jeff Scott.

Grisham previously served in an analyst role before being promoted to an on-field assistant. His salary is increasing from $93,860 to $300,000 with the promotion.

Here is a full breakdown of salaries for Clemson assistants:

Clemson assistant coach contract details

Defensive coordinator Brent Venables: $2.4 million per year, 5 years (Contract did not change)

Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott: $1.6 million, 3 years ($1 million in 2019)

Offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell: $640,000, 2 years ($570,000 in 2019)

Passing game coordinator/QBs coach Brandon Streeter: $590,000, 2 years ($500,000 in 2019)

Assistant head coach Danny Pearman: $545,000, 2 years (505,000 in 2019)

Cornerbacks coach Mike Reed: $540,000, 2 years (495,000 in 2019)

Defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Todd Bates: $515,000, 2 years ($375,000 in 2019)

Safeties coach Mickey Conn: $515,000, 2 years ($400,000 in 2019)

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall: $500,000, 2 years ($350,000 in 2019)

Wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham: $300,000, 2 years ($93,860 in 2019)