Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has been able to revitalize the Fighting Irish football program in three seasons, leading the team an undefeated regular season and BCS title game appearance in 2012. But for the 2011-12 year, Notre Dame paid Kelly less than former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis.
Federal tax documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune reveal a buyout payment of $2,054,744 to Weis, part of the agreement for his firing in 2009. Kelly, meanwhile, earned a total of $1,088,179 from the school.
That total does not represent all of the money Kelly earned as Notre Dame's head football coach in 2011-12 -- Notre Dame, like most schools, allows coaches to receive compensation from external sources. But the fact that Weis, currently preparing for his second year as Kansas' head coach, made more from the school than Kelly brings attention to his massive buyout agreement.
According to the Tribune, Weis has totaled nearly $10.8 million in buyout payments. He is scheduled for "additional annual payments" through December 2015. The Tribune's Brian Hamilton estimates that the total of those annual payments will be $18,966,867.
Kelly earned a two-year contract extension after the 2011 season, extending his deal until 2016. Kelly was named the AP, FWAA and Walter Camp Coach of the Year after leading the Fighting Irish to the BCS title game in 2012. An additional raise/extension is reportedly on the table for Kelly but nothing has been made official yet.