Clemson's Tony Elliott joins Alabama's Steve Sarkisian as highest-paid offensive coordinators

Clemson's Tony Elliott is one of the two highest-paid offensive coordinators. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip).

Clemson’s Tony Elliott got a hefty pay raise.

The Clemson Board of Trustees approved assistant coach salary raises on Thursday. That includes a massive one for Elliott, who will make $1.6 million in 2020. That’s up from $1 million in 2019.

The $1.6 million salary is set to put Elliott at the top of the offensive coordinator salary list with Alabama’s Steve Sarkisian. The former USC head coach and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator signed a three-year deal worth $4.8 million ahead of the 2019 season. Sarkisian made $1.55 million in 2019 and is in line for a $50,000 raise in 2020 to put his salary at $1.6 million.

Elliott has been Clemson’s primary play-caller and co-offensive coordinator alongside Jeff Scott under coach Dabo Swinney. But Elliott is on his own now as Scott was hired to replace Charlie Strong as South Florida’s head coach. Scott also made $1 million in 2019.

Just four offensive coordinators made more than Scott and Elliott did in 2019. In addition to Sarkisian, Tennessee’s Jim Chaney ($1.5 million), Michigan’s Josh Gattis ($1.1 million) and Florida State’s Kendal Briles ($1.02 million) made more. Chaney and Gattis are staying with their current employers in 2020. Briles left Florida State following the firing of Willie Taggart and will be the offensive coordinator at Arkansas under new coach Sam Pittman this season.

While Elliott and Sarkisian got pay raises heading into 2020, offensive coordinator salaries still lag behind defensive coordinator salaries. New Baylor coach Dave Aranda made $2.5 million as LSU’s defensive coordinator in 2019 and Clemson’s Brent Venables made $2.2 million. The top six highest-paid coordinators in college football in 2019 were all defensive coordinators as Texas A&M’s Mike Elko also made over $2 million.

Auburn’s Kevin Steele is set to be the top-earning defensive coordinator in 2020. Steele got a contract extension this offseason that bumped his salary to $2.5 million.

In addition to approving Elliott’s raise, Clemson also approved an extension to Venables’ contract through the 2025 season. 

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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