It was important for Brownell to keep his staff together

It was important for Brownell to keep his staff together

Basketball

It was important for Brownell to keep his staff together

New contract for Brownell should be done in May

It’s obvious Brad Brownell would love to have guards Shelton Mitchell and Marcquise Reed return to school for their final season. The two announced earlier this month they will enter the NBA Draft, but they did not sign an agent so they can return to school if they see they are unlikely to be drafted.

Their return would mean a lot to the success of next year’s basketball program. Just as it’s important to have those two back in the lineup, it’s just as important to keep his staff together for as long as possible.

Clemson has seen the benefits of keeping a staff together and the subsequent continuity it brings to a program. Just walk across the street from Littlejohn Coliseum to the Allen Reeves Football Complex for an example.

By keeping coaches like Brent Venables, Jeff Scott, Tony Elliott, Brandon Streeter, Robbie Caldwell and Danny Pearman for all or the majority of his tenure at Clemson, Dabo Swinney has built a national championship program in Tiger Town.

Brownell is wanting to do the same with the basketball program. Thursday went along way in assuring that. Clemson University’s Board of Trustees Compensation Committee officially approved new contracts Thursday morning for assistant men’s basketball coaches Steve Smith, Dick Bender and Antonio Reynolds Dean.

“It was certainly high on Brad’s list,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said. “We were able to pull that together. We have seen that success in some of other sports and we wanted to make sure we were able to do the same thing in basketball.”

Smith and Bender just completed their sixth seasons at Clemson, while Reynolds Dean finished up his first year on Brownell’s staff.

The three men helped guide the Tigers back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years. They also advanced to the Sweet 16 for the time in 21 years.

“That staff is very comfortable and they work very well together,” Radakovich said. “We were just glad that we were able to retain all three.”

Smith received a new deal which upped his salary from $200,000 to $250,000, while Reynolds Dean got a $40,000 raise from $190,000 to $230,000. Bender got a salary increase of $60,000 from $160,000 to $220,000.

With the assistant coaches taken care of Radakovich can now turn is attention to getting a new deal done with Brownell.

“We are just starting that right now,” Radakovich said. “It was really important for Brad to get the assistants done and we did. Now, we will turn our attention to him and kind of begin to speak with his representation and us to kind of move through the process.

“I can’t tell you how long that will take. I don’t know if it will be protracted, but we are going to begin to have that discussion now.”

Radakovich’s plan is to get a new deal done with Brownell before the compensation committee’s next scheduled meeting, which is in July.

“We would like to do that and certainly in speaking with (the BOT) we let folks know that would be the case. We would like to do it before the July meeting,” Radakovich said.

Sources told the Clemson Insider last week a new deal for Brownell will likely be done in May.

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