Will Muschamp not Dabo Swinney is the state’s highest paid employee


With the recent downturn in the economy, there are many that have pointed to Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney is the state’s highest-paid employee and that his $9 million salary could help a lot of others in need at the moment.

Talking about what public officials make during an economic crisis, is at best low hanging fruit. It is not like Swinney was given a pay raise in the midst of what we are going through locally, domestically and internationally.

It is also important to make sure you have the correct facts when talking about what Dabo Swinney is paid, and more importantly, it is important to remember that just 2.7 percent of his salary is state-funded.

Every state has a website that publishes what state employees make every year, it’s their way of partaking in checks and balances and trying to stay as transparent as possible. When looking at the state’s highest-paid employees, South Carolina football coach William Muschamp is the state of South Carolina’s highest-paid employee.

Matter of fact, when you look at the top 15 highest-paid state employees, South Carolina coaches have nine different coaches or athletic staff, including five of the six highest-paid. Head football coach Will Muschamp, head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley, and head men’s basketball coach Frank Martin are all in the state’s Top 4 of the highest-paid.

In comparison, there are nearly 200 state employees that are higher paid out of the state coffers than Dabo Swinney or any of the Clemson football assistant coaches. Clemson has capped athletic coaches from being paid no more than $245,000 a year from state coffers.

When looking at the Clemson athletic department in general, the only athletic department employees are within the 75 highest-paid state employees are Davis Babb, Dan Radakovich, and Graham Neff. Babb and Radakovich are both paid $300,000 from the state budget while Graham is paid $250,000.

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Eventually, everyone will have to take a pay cut in order for the state to stay afloat, but Clemson athletics has done a great job finding other means to pay the majority of coaching staff salaries instead of using much-needed state money to do so.