Blog Entry

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden

Posted on: October 13, 2008 2:15 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2008 11:59 pm

I'm told that Clemson will pay its next coach between $1.25 million and $1.75 million.

The biggest reason, the school can't afford to go get a bigger name coach and pay him $2 million-$3 million per year. The school will probably spend in the neighborhood of $6 million to get rid of Tommy Bowden. They owe him a $3.5 million buyout starting Dec. 1. That will come in six installments.

"These buyout figures are like a prenuptial agreement ... " agent Mike Brown told me on Monday.  "There's no bean counter that comes up with an Excel spread sheet. For the athletic director it's, 'What number can I live with if I fire you?'

 "If you are going to make a change, it impacts you on the quality of guy you can go get. I don't see them (Clemson) going out and paying a guy who can be in the $2 to $3 milion category. Most of those guys making $1.5 or $2 million might have a buyout equal to that amout."

So what's the answer for Clemson?

Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator, Texas -- The toast of Texas after helping beat Oklahoma, Muschamp had been mentioned for the job before Tommy Bowden left. At age 36, is he ready to become a head coach? Making $425,000 per year, Muschamp comes affordable too.

Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt -- Not many know BJ is a Clemson grad. If he was going to leave, this would be the time. His stock will never be higher.

Skip Holtz, East Carolina -- Familiar in South Carolina after helping his dad with the Gamecocks. He was the hottest name in the country until a recent slide by the Pirates.

Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee -- solid coach familiar with Clemson.

Bud Foster, defensive coordinator, Virginia Tech -- If Clemson is tired of going the offensive route, Foster is their guy. He is one of the top defensive minds in the country and is more than ready to take over his own program.

Dabo Swinney, receivers coach, Clemson -- the new interim could be the guy. He's affordable and accomplished at Clemson. Swinney reportedly helped land running back C.J. Spiller. A former Alabama walk-on, Swinney knows how to work. He was Tommy's assistant head coach before being tapped on Monday.

Todd Graham, Tulsa -- the genius behind Tulsa's mind-blowing offense isn't a man to be tied down. He left Rice after one season and now has Tulsa as one of the nation's 10 undefeated teams. If Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips wanted to energize the program, this is his man.

Brent Venables, defensive coordinator, Oklahoma -- Bob Stoops no doubt would give his blessing for his long-time assistant to take this job. Venables defensive credentials are top notch. Get him a top offensive coordinator and Clemson would take off.










Since: Jun 5, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2008 10:43 am

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden

OOOWwwwch! how could I have a nice day after those zingers!!!

I made my comment to get y'all thinking about how coaches salaries impact the university. This is for your benefit, and for the benefit of the good folks who live and pay taxes in the paradise that is South Carolina. I am no fan of the Bowdens, and think it was unfortunate that Clemson hired Tommy Bowden in the first place.

But, since you asked for it:

Based on your most gracious and enlightening statements, the head coach is not directly involved in managing the game? So what direct and immediate benefit would you get from firing the head coach? Granted, a new coach would bring in new coaching staff, but the athletic director could do that now, and save the $$$ millions it would take to fire Bowded and hire a new head coach. And what would player development be, exactly? And recruit closing..... right. I love the always nebulous "strategy" and "leadership". Those have to be worth at least a million dollars on their own!

The "i pay ten a year" club does not mention paying coaches salaries or paying for "all athletics". They mention 4 priorities:

1. Payement of annual cost of athletic scholarships

2. Payment of IPTAY operating expenses

3. Resurve Fund

4. other expenses, limited to either direct or indirect aids to the athletic program

Further, Clemson University (and their auditor) claim they had close to $2.6 Million dollars in (football) coaching salaries, benefits and bonuses expenses last year (through June 30), while third parties paid about $900,000. The university also had $2.1 million in guarantee expenses, $576,000 for support staff, $315,000 for recruiting, $1.2 Million for travel, $466,000 for equipment, $1.7 million for game expenses, and my favorite, $1.2 million for "other" expenses. BTW, this is for football only, not for the athletic program as a whole.

So, are you a student at Clemson? Are the football coaching staff (other than head football coach) well paid? By that I mean $2.6 million dollars well paid, plus $2.1 million in guarantees well paid. Plus whatever iptay pays them.

If you are not a student, can I come work for you? I mean, if a complete flop of a coach can get that kind of money, you're bound to agree that an incompetent engineer is worth at least a couple hundred thousand a year. Either way, if you don't notice $10 million in taxpayer money burning rubber out of Clemson every year, what are the chances you'd miss a couple hundred thousand extra?!?

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: October 15, 2008 7:41 am

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden

The actually salary that drives the pension calculation is relatively small as the majority is not directly paid from Clemson.

Clemson funds all athletics through alumni donations in program called iptay,

Head coach provides organization, player development, strategy, leadership, and recruit closing...

Bowden has been there ten years and they have already played the switch assistant coaches game.

If you manage engineers and technicians that likely means that you are no longer technically competent to be an engineer. Based on your comments neither are you competent to coach a college football team.

Have a nice day.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2008 10:02 pm

When Can Clemson Talk To Muschamp, other coaches

Does Clemson have to wait until after the bowl season to talk to any active coaches, whether they are head or assistant coaches?

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2008 12:23 pm

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden

umm, Dodd?  Todd Graham is not the master mind behind Tulsa's offense.  That would be Gus Malzahn.  Try to get it right.  And the fact that there is such huge bias out there that undefeated Tulsa is not ranked is sickening.  Oh well, maybe once we go 13-0, then we might get into the top 25.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2008 12:16 pm

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden


Re: Todd Graham, he and his staff are clearly doing an outstanding job at Tulsa.  From what I can see Graham is a terrific coach - seems to know how to set the tone, get the kids to believe, etc.  TU's attitude and toughness seem even better than what Kragthorpe was able to instill (which was huge compared to he had inherited).  But I'm not sure Graham's the offensive genius.  (a) he was the defensive coordinator at TU for several years under Kragthorpe.  (b) Rice wasn't putting up the amazing offensive numbers when he was there in '06 (pretty good but well short of spectacular). 

I would submit that the person most responsible for TU's tremendous offense last year and this is probably Gus Malzahn, whom Graham brought in as offensive coordinator after Houston Nutt was forced out at Arkansas.  Never really got to show his stuff at Arkansas since Nutt wanted to feature McFadden and Jones (and who can blame him for that).

Since: Jun 5, 2007
Posted on: October 14, 2008 9:25 am

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden

Let's get serious. $1.25-million to $1.75-million per year is a lot of jack. Plus, don't discount the benefit package (would the coach be a State employee?!?) (imagine the pension he'll get out of that deal - if he stays for 5 years, he'll bring home $120,000 per year when he retires at the ripe old age of 60...) (OMG! if he stays 20 years, and "retires" at 60, it'll be $478,000 per year in pension!!!)

Anyway, to raise the money for the new coach's salary, I presume they'll raise tuition - that works out to about $150 per student per year, not counting what they'll have to pay Bowden to leave. Plus, they'll probably have to hire new coaching staff for the new coach. No clue what that would work out to be, but a conservative guess would be another couple of million dollars.

So, the students would get a nice tuition hike of somewhere around $500 per year, and the school gambles on yet another set of coaches.

What EXACTLY does the head coach do, anyway? if the offense is run by the offensive coordinator, the defense is run by the defensive coordinator, and the receivers, quarterbacks, runningbacks, DL, OL, etc. all have their own coaches, Sounds like the head coach is a manager.

If Bowden is a half-way decent manager, why not fire the folks directly responsible for Clemson's lack of performance? Much as I dislike Bowden, wouldn't it be cheaper to get some new offensive coaches? Aren't they directly responsible for the lack of offensive performance anyway?

BTW, I can start tomorrow as the new Clemson head coach at $1,000,000. I don't have any experience managing football players (and coaches), but I do manage engineers and supervise technicians....

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2008 12:37 am

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden

"These buyout figures are like a prenuptial agreement ... " agent Mike Brown told me on Monday.  "There's no bean counter that comes up with an Excel spread sheet. For the athletic director it's, 'What number can I live with if I fire you?

Mike Brown.....hmmmmmm...wasnt this the same agent RR had....

Funny how he is in favor of the buy out when it helps his client and against it when it is favorable for the school his client leaves hanging in the wind!

On to Bowden leaving seemed for years he was on the hot seat and would get that one win that would save his job!  I guess with the elevated expectations this year the 3-3 start just didnt cut it!

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2008 11:01 pm

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden

I agree that Bud Foster would be great.  I also think you need to look at some pro coaches like Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.  If Michigan is regreting hiring Rich Rod we could take him off their hands.

Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2008 8:11 pm

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden

sooner or later they'll realize it's better for them to stay put.

Well, we disgruntled ones have an awesome, no, simply Greeaaattt solution to Clemson's need.

And there's no buyout clause from this end.

Herm Edwards.

Fresh face.  Fresh outlook on recruiting.  ( but Ma, he knows what it takes at the next level.....).  In fact so fresh, I haven't the slightest clue as to when he has had the opportunity to sit in a living  room with mommy, daddy, the "kid", and lil sis in the corner.   I am confident he will do well.

Count Hermy. 

Don't leave home without him......

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2008 8:03 pm

Behind Clemson and Tommy Bowden

Come on, dad. You've got to be kidding me. First, Larry Blakeney runs the program at Troy, not Franklin. Secondly, the unrealistic expectations at Auburn? I guess you are right. AU wanted more than five touchdowns in six games out of its offense.

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