Inside Brian Kelly's 9-figure deal: new LSU coach set to make $100 million by 2031

Brian Kelly is officially the highest-paid football coach at a public university.

Kelly, who coached Notre Dame for 12 years, is leaving South Bend with a 113-40 overall record, the most wins of any Notre Dame coach.

Kelly is the first public school football coach to receive a 9-figure deal he signed Tuesday on his flight to Baton Rouge. He will earn $95 million in base salary while at LSU.

The 10-year contract includes a starting salary of $9 million his first football season, with that number rising in increments every year.

The contract consists of other performance-based incentives, including a yearly longevity bonus of $500,000 as long as Kelly remains head coach on July 1.

This would ensure him a total compensation of nearly $100 million by 2031.

Kelly will earn an additional $500,000 if LSU makes a bowl game.

LSU has been bowl eligible for 20 seasons straight, earning them the fourth-longest active streak in the NCAA and the second-longest in the SEC.

For his first SEC championship, Kelly will receive a $250,000 salary increase for the remainder of his contract.

He will receive a one-time $75,000 bonus if LSU appears in an SEC championship, and $150,000 if they win the game.

If LSU wins a national title, his base salary will increase by $500,000 for the remainder of his contract.

With a $500,000 bowl bonus and $500,000 longevity bonus, Kelly could earn a salary of $11 million by 2031.

He will also receive two courtesy vehicles or two car allowances worth $1,000 a month along with an interest-free home loan of up to $1.2 million to buy a house.

LSU will also cover 50 hours per year of travel on private planes, relocation funds, and the cost of his buyout at Notre Dame, which remains unspecified due to the school being private.

Kelly’s contract is bound to Director of Athletics Scott Woodward’s contract.

If Kelly leaves while Woodward is still Director of Athletics at LSU, Kelly would owe $4 million in 2022, $3 million in 2023, and $2 million any other year of his contract.

He would not have to pay if Woodward is no longer director when he leaves LSU.

If Kelly is fired without cause, LSU will owe him 90% of his remaining salary.

However, if he is fired without cause after winning a national championship, he will receive his entire remaining salary, including any longevity bonuses earned.

LSU will not have to pay Kelly if he is fired with cause.

The contract is pending a background check and awaiting approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors.


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