Clemson makes DC Brent Venables NCAA’s highest-paid assistant

Clemson and defensive coordinator Brent Venables agreed to a contract extension through 2026 that makes him the highest-paid assistant coach in college football.

Venables, 50, will earn $2.5 million per season, just more than his previous salary of $2.4 million.

Steve Sarkisian made $2.5 million last season as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, according to reports, but he left to become the head coach at Texas. Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele also reportedly made $2.5 million in 2020 but he wasn’t retained after Guz Malzahn’s firing as head coach.

Venables won the Broyles Award, given to the country’s best assistant coach, in 2016. That same year, the Tigers won their first of two national championships under Dabo Swinney and his staff.

Venables’ units have ranked no lower than No. 15 in total defense in the nation since 2014. He was hired in 2012 after serving as co-DC, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Oklahoma from 1999 to 2011.