Elliott’s raise gives Clemson two $2 million coordinators

Ken Ruinard / staff via Imagn Content Services

Clemson’s Tony Elliott is joining college football’s club of $2 million assistants.

The school’s board of trustees approved a $300,000 raise for the team’s offensive coordinator, bumping his total compensation to $2 million starting July 1 when the university’s new fiscal year begins. Along with defensive coordinator Brent Venables, at $2.4 million a year, the Tigers will be the only program in college football with both coordinators making that much, according to USA Today’s database of assistant salaries.

Elliott also had his contract extended through the 2025 season, along will adding the title of assistant head coach.

Elliott’s name came up for several NFL jobs and he was contacted in Tennessee’s head coaching search. However, this latest move looks to keep Elliott at Clemson a while longer.

“We were so happy to retain coach Elliott. He had opportunities, but we wanted to make sure he stayed here,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said.

Elliott, a former Clemson receiver, has worked on the staff since 2011. He served as co-coordinator with Jeff Scott from 2015-19 until Scott left to become South Florida’s head coach. Elliott took control by himself this past season.

The board also approved a raise for quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Brandon Streeter, increasing his salary by $25,000 to $615,000 a year.

Elliott and Streeter will continue leading one of the country’s most productive offenses that will transition from quarterback Trevor Lawrence to DJ Uiagalelei next season.

The board also approved a $300,000 salary for new running backs coach and former Clemson ACC player of the year C.J. Spiller. Spiller was named to the latest class for the College Football Hall of Fame.

Spiller takes over for Elliott at that position group, while Elliott will coach tight ends going forward.

“To have C.J. out on the road recruiting and have him leading these young men day in and day out is something I’m really, really excited about,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said.

Spiller’s contract is through the 2022 season.

Six other Clemson on-field assistants had their contracts extended a year through the 2022 season with no raises as the athletic department deals with a shortfall of about $25 million due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Longtime tight ends and special teams coach Danny Pearman moved to an off-field role as director of college scouting. Pearman was involved in a controversy last spring for past use of a racial slur in 2017. He apologized in June.

Pearman said he made a mistake in repeating “a racial slur I overheard when trying to stop the word from being used on the practice field,. What I overheard, I had no right to repeat.”

Elliott will coach tight ends while safeties coach Mickey Conn will take over as special teams coordinator.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

west virginia football
Lee Coleman/Getty Images

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.