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Clemson hires Chattanooga's Shawn Poppie to be women's basketball coach

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Clemson has hired Chattanooga coach Shawn Poppie to be its women's basketball coach.

Poppie received a six-year contract worth $3.375 million through the 2029-30 season. The agreement was approved by the Board of Trustees' compensation committee on Tuesday.

Poppie spent the past two years at Chattanooga where he was 48-18 and won the Southern Conference Tournament title and reached the NCAA Tournament both seasons. He was Southern Conference coach of the year this past season after leading the Mocs to 28 victories.

Chattanooga lost its first round game to No. 3 seed North Carolina State 64-45 on Saturday.

Poppie will earn $500,000 next season with his salary increasing by $25,000 a year until he'll make $625,000 in the final year of the contract.

Poppie also gets a $435,000 signing “incentive” that will be paid within his first 30 days on the job.

Poppie would owe Clemson 40% of what's left on the contract should he leave before April 30, 2026, to take another head coaching job. That shrinks to 20% of the deal after that date.

Should Clemson dismiss Poppie before April 30, 2026, it would owe him 100% of what's left on the agreement. After that date, the total owed to him would be cut in half.

There are several performance bonuses in place for Poppie, including $50,000 for winning the Atlantic Coast Conference and $30,000 for making the NCAA Tournament. Should the Tigers win a national title, he would receive a bonus of $75,000.

Clemson athletic director Graham Neff said Poppie’s name continued coming up from those he spoke with and he soon became the school’s choice to succeed Amanda Butler, who was dismissed earlier this month after six seasons.

Poppie has “coached and recruited at a high level, has experience in the ACC and in the Upstate, and we are confident in his ability to get our program to the next level.”

Poppie spent six seasons as an assistant at Virginia Tech to coach Kenny Brooks, who has since left the Hokies to coach at Kentucky.

Poppie said in a statement he was excited to join the Tigers.

“With the resources in place and everyone moving in synergy together, I believe we can compete in the ACC,” he said.

Clemson has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2019 in Butler's first season as coach. Before then, the Tigers had gone without an NCAA tourney berth since 2002.

Poppie's job is even more challenging by having Dawn Staley and two-time national champion South Carolina as its state rival. The Gamecocks are 34-0 this season including a 109-40 win over the Tigers, their 13th straight, this past November.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-womens-bracket/ and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness