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TCI exclusive: Radakovich talks Brownell extension

Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said approval of men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell’s one-year extension and amendment to his buyout clause was one of the items the two spoke about when they met last month to discuss the future of the basketball program.

Clemson’s Board of Trustees Compensation Committee approved Brownell’s contract during Wednesday’s meeting at the Madren Center at Clemson University. Radakovich decided to bring Brownell back for another season on March 20, a couple of weeks after the Tigers ended what was supposed to be a promising season at 17-16.

“The meeting that we had was really good and talked through a number of items and this was one of them,” Radakovich told The Clemson Insider after the BOT meeting.

Brownell’s contract now runs through the 2020-’21 season as they added a year to the existing three years that remained. He is scheduled to make $1.8 million this coming season and $1.9 million in 2018-’19. In 2019-’20 he will make $2 million and $2 million in 2020-’21.

The guaranteed income did not increase.

As for the buyout, starting on May 1 it drops to 1.7 million without mitigation. It was set at $3 million with mitigation for this coming year. In 2018, it will drop to $850,000 without mitigation and in 2019 it drops to $425,000 without mitigation.

In 2020 it is set at 25-percent of the remaining $425,000.

“We want to make sure we give all the coaches we have the tools they need to be successful,” Radakovich said. “He had three years left on the contract and moving it back to four was a little more palatable as it relates to the recruiting world. That being said, the mitigated vs. the unmitigated we took the opportunity to clean that up.

“We are continuing to review that coach by coach and case by case as we continue to move forward through all of our coaches’ contracts.”

Radakovich said Graham Neff, Clemson’s Deputy Director for Athletics, and Brownell’s agent negotiated the final numbers of the buyout until both parties were satisfied.

“We had talked about it so it was not a surprise,” Radakovich said. “This is kind of one of the things that we needed to clean up. We were able to come to a number that obviously works for him and works for us. Now that part of his contract is cleared up.

“As we changed that language it really kind of cleaned up the remainder of the contract as well.”

Clemson’s BOT also approved a one-year deal to assistant men’s coach Dick Binder and approved a one-year contract to assistant Steve Smith, along with an increase in salary to $200,000.

“Steve was sought and he was a valuable commodity during the off-season, and we certainly did not want to lose him,” Radakovich said. “Brad requested that we move Steve up in salary and seeing Steve’s value in the organization we certainly agreed with that and we wanted to take care of him.”

As for Clemson’s new assistant basketball coach, Radakovich said there is no timetable set on when they will bring on a new coach, but he will leave that up to Brownell to identify.

Brownell let long-time friend and assistant coach Mike Winiecki go on April 8.

“That is really his timetable. I don’t know if there is really any urgency in moving forward with that,” he said. “We are at his timetable now. Whenever he identifies somebody and thinks it is the right time to bring him in, then we will be able to move forward.”

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