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How much does Brian Kelly make at Notre Dame per year after leaving for LSU?

Joshua Rogers November 30, 2021
how much does brian kelly make a year at notre dame
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

How much does Brian Kelly make at Notre Dame per year after reportedly leaving for LSU, and why was his salary so low?

LSU football is expected to hire Notre Dame Brian Kelly as its next head coach, with an official announcement expected today (Tuesday, 30 November).

Kelly, who is in his 12th season with Notre Dame, will be replacing the outgoing Ed Orgeron.

Naturally, fans wanted to know how much Brian Kelly makes a year at Notre Dame, and why his salary is so low.

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Brian Kelly to replace Ed Orgeron at LSU

Orgeron and the Tigers had decided to part ways on 17 October, but he agreed to stay on to finish out the regular season. His tenure came to an end this Saturday after a win over Texas A&M in Baton Rouge. 

Kelly, meanwhile, is the winningest coach in Notre Dame history with a record of 113-40. No previous Notre Dame coach has ever left the Irish to take a job at another school.

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

How much does Brian Kelly make at Notre Dame?

Kelly has coached at Notre Dame since 2010, and has two College Football Playoff appearances. Kelly has also never won a national title at Notre Dame, unlike the outgoing Orgeron who won one with LSU two seasons ago.

Notre Dame finished 11-1 in 2021, the sixth time Kelly has won ten or more games in the past seven seasons. They are ranked No.6 in the latest CFP rankings, and can still make their third College Football Playoff in four years.

Despite this, Brian Kelly’s salary at Notre Dame is relatively low, and fans wanted to know how much he made there.

According to USA TODAY Sports, Kelly’s salary at Notre Dame was listed at $2.7 million in the 2019 calendar year. However, his overall income would have been higher as he was permitted to receive compensation from external sources at Notre Dame with written approval.

This is part of the reason why Brian Kelly’s salary was so low, even after signing a three-year extension at Notre Dame in 2020 through to the 2024 season.

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

How much will he make at LSU?

This is still significantly less than what Brian Kelly will be making at LSU, if indeed it is him who takes over.

The 60-year-old was recently asked how much it would take for him to leave Notre Dame, to which he offered a humorous quote saying it would take $250 million.

“No. I mean, look, I think Mike Tomlin had the best line, right? Unless that fairy godmother comes by with that $250M check, my wife would want to take a look at it first. I’d have to run it by her,” he said.

And while LSU won’t be offering Kelly $250 million, it isn’t a whole lot less.

The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna and Brody Miller reported that LSU have offered Brian Kelly a 10-year deal worth more than $100 million with incentives. Per Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, Kelly’s annual salary will be in the $15 million range.

While Kelly may insist he’s moving from Notre Dame to LSU to challenge for a national championship, it’s impossible to ignore the financial incentives too.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.