South Carolina Approves $175,000 Base Salary for New Head Swim Coach Poppell

The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees has approved the contract terms of new head swimming & diving coach Jeff Poppell, who was announced for the role last week.

The top-line numbers are a 5-year contract through the 2025-2026 season with an annual guaranteed salary of $175,000, plus bonuses and either an automobile or a $400 per month automobile stipend.

That marks an increase from what he was being paid as the women’s team head coach at the University of Florida, where he earned a base salary of $155,000 per year.

Poppell’s new salary at South Carolina is a substantial raise over what his predecessor, McGee Moody, was making – just $130,000 according to public records.

The contract also has several bonuses baked in. Poppell can earn all three of these bonuses:

  • National Coach of the Year: 10% of base salary ($17,500)
  • SEC Coach of the Year 5% of base salary ($8,750)
  • NCAA Individual or Relay Team Champion 5% of base salary per NCAA individual champion or relay team champion, not to exceed a maximum of $12,000

And a maximum of one of these each season (with men and women combined counting as one team, so he can’t collect for both men and women):

  • SEC Champion: 25% of base salary ($43,750)
  • SEC Coach of the Year: 5% of base salary ($8,750)
  • Team Invited to NCAA Championship (minimum of 4 student-athletes from the Team invited): 6% of base salary ($10,500)
  • Team Invited to NCAA Championship (minimum of 6 student-athletes from the Team invited): 8% of base salary ($14,000)
  • NCAA Team Championship: 35% of base salary ($61,250)
  • Team Ranked in Top 5 of NCAA Final Ranking: 25% of base salary ($43,750)
  • Team ranked in Top 6-10 of NCAA Final Ranking: 20% of base salary ($35,000)
  • Team ranked in Top 11-15 of NCAA Final Ranking: 15% of base salary ($26,250)
  • Team Ranked in Top 16-25 of NCAA Final Ranking: 8% of base salary ($14,000)

Poppell is also being given additional incentives in the first two years of his contract for a rapid turnaround for the Gamecocks, who were at the bottom of the conference in 2021. He can collect one of the following bonuses too:

  • Top 8 SEC Men’s Team Finish: 2% of base salary ($3,500)
  • Top 6 SEC Men’s Team Finish: 4% of base salary ($7,000)
  • Top 4 SEC Men’s Team Finish: 6% of base salary ($10,500)
  • Top 9 SEC Women’s Team Finish: 2% of base salary ($3,500)
  • Top 6 SEC Women’s Team Finish: 4% of base salary ($7,000)
  • Top 4 SEC Women’s Team Finish: 6% of base salary ($10,500)

The South Carolina women finished 11th out of 12 teams at the 2021 SEC Championship meet with 276 points. Auburn placed 9th with 510 points. On the men’s side, the South Carolina men, who had a short-handed roster because of COVID, placed 10th with 232 points. Auburn was again the target at 8th with 671 points.

The Florida women, led by Poppell, finished 2nd at the SEC Championships in 2021 with 1,071 points.

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This Guy
25 days ago

I really like the breakout of this contract. Really interesting to see the incentive structure of head coaches. I’m not sure if it was left out of the write up but there are a lot of coaches that have academic incentives as well, as I believe they should.

Klorn8d
Reply to  Braden Keith
25 days ago

I mean it is South Carolina

Whapadang
Reply to  Klorn8d
25 days ago

What do you know ? Honors College which has the number 1 ranking in the US has several gamecock swimmers. So shut your piehole unless you have something credible to say.

Qqq
Reply to  This Guy
25 days ago

In the words of Cardale Jones – the swimmers ain’t there to play school!

sscommentor
Reply to  Qqq
25 days ago

legendary quote

Falcon
Reply to  This Guy
25 days ago

The women’s and men’s teams have outstanding academics, as most swim programs do. Graduation rate is about 100%, gpa 3.5+. So not a lot of room for incentives.

Coachy
Reply to  This Guy
25 days ago

As “awful” as it sounds that isn’t his job. He’s the swim coach. If the get 4.0’s and last he’ll be fired. If the get 2.5’s and they win, he’ll get a raise.

Again, swimming wants to be treated like football but really doesn’t.

Swimmer
Reply to  Coachy
25 days ago

2.5s and win would result in punishment for sure

swimdaag
25 days ago

they droppin a BAG

MNSwammer
25 days ago

Those are some awesome incentives, holy buckets!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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