July 14, 1998
CLEMSON, SC — Athletic Director Bobby Robinson announced Tuesday that Head Coach Tommy West has been given a new four-year contract. The agreement, which runs through the 2001 season, also includes a $5,000 base salary increase.
“We have been pleased with the level of consistent accomplishment in many areas of our football program,” said Robinson. “We have made progress on the field since Coach West’s first season to where we are in an elite group nationally to be selected for a bowl game three straight years.
“Recruiting has improved each year as we continue to bring quality young men into the program. This is reflected in the academic performance of the team, which has broken team records in terms of grade point average, ACC academic honor roll selections and graduation rate.”
“However, we expect our football program to continue to reach a higher and more competitive level with the goal of winning a conference championship and to participate in the Bowl Championship Series.”
West has taken Clemson to bowl games each of the last three years, something only 16 other programs at the Division I level have accomplished. This past year he became just the second coach in school history to lead the Tigers to a third consecutive bowl game. Clemson has five wins over top 25 teams and has shown an ability to win on the road. The Tigers have won 10 of their last 13 ACC games away from home.
“I am excited about the commitment and confidence the administration has shown in our program. This four-year contract is a reflection of the hard work and accomplishment of our staff over the last four years.
“Our goal remains to move the Clemson program to the top of the ACC.”
The program has reached new heights in all phases of the game. Last year’s team set nine school records for passing offense, while the defense ranked sixth in the nation in rushing defense and 16th in total defense. The 1995 Clemson team ranked fourth in the nation in rushing.
Individually, players have made significant progress in West’s program. Last year’s senior class combined to established over 60 Clemson records on a game, season, and career basis. The Tigers have had 29 All-ACC selections and in his four years as coach and four players have earned All-American honors, including Anthony Simmons, the second three-time All-American in Clemson history.
Academically, the program has seen 62 players chosen to the ACC Academic honor roll, more than double any previous four-year period in Clemson history. The cumulative GPA of the current team is the highest on record.
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