Clemson’s recruiting budget has skyrocketed under Dabo Swinney

By Matt Johnson
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

In the decade since Dabo Swinney became head coach of the Clemson Tigers football team, the entire program has skyrocketed in many ways. Among the biggest changes is Clemson’s budget for recruiting players.

According to The Greenville News, Clemson spent $292,595 in its yearly budget for 2009-’10 on football recruiting in Swinney’s first season as head coach. After seven double-digit win seasons, six bowl wins and a national championship, the Tigers spent $2.9 million on recruiting during the 2018-’19 academic year.

The numbers are staggering and speak to just how much has changed at Clemson since Swinney took over. While the team’s success on the field has certainly helped Swinney’s efforts in landing top recruiting classes in recent years, the added financial support has also gone a long way.

According to the report, $1.9 million of Clemson’s spending on recruiting went towards travel expenses with $1.4 million of that from use of the university’s aircraft. The program’s first big jump in spending came in 2015-16, when Clemson surpassed $1 million for the first time after the university bought a second aircraft for the athletic department.

Clemson spent nearly half of its entire recruiting budget in 2009 on charter flights in 2018 ($126,298), according to the report.

Given the success of the football program, it should come as no surprise that the university’s spending on recruiting for football vastly outweighs other sports. According to The Greenville News, Clemson spent $1.79 million on recruiting for football in 2017 and less than $800K for all other sports combined.

After winning a second national championship this season and with the football team only getting better, Clemson might spend more than $3 million on recruiting this season. It’s the logical next step after Swinney received the largest college football contract ever this year.