Brian Kelly to earn upwards of $9 million in first season as LSU football coach
Brian Kelly and LSU have agreed on a 10-year deal that will pay the new football coach at least $9 million in first year, according to the contract obtained by The Daily Advertiser.
With incentives, Kelly could earn upwards of $100 million over the course of the contract. His base salary is $400,000. Supplemental compensation, which will be paid to Kelly or his "business entity," pushes the salary to $9 million.
Kelly is set to earn $9.2 million from 2023-24. Compensation increases to $9.4 million from 2025-26, $9.6 million from 20027-28, $9.8 million from 2029-2030 and $10 million from 2031 until the contract expires following the last game of that season.
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LSU will pay Kelly a $500,000 longevity bonus on July 1 of each year he's employed.
If LSU fires Kelly without cause, he is owed 90% of the base salary and supplemental income for the remaining term. Following a national championship, Kelly receives 100% of the money he's owed for the year if LSU fires him.
Kelly's buyout is $4 million in the first year. It drops to $3 million in 2023 and $2 million for the duration of the contract.
Kelly will receive a $75,000 bonus for winning the SEC West and $150,000 if LSU wins a conference championship. Postseason incentives include $500,000 for bowl eligibility, plus $100,000 for a New Year's Six bowl, $200,000 for a College Football Playoff appearance, $300,000 for making the national championship game and $500,000 for winning a national title.
Additionally, Kelly will receive a car allowance worth $1,000 a month, an interest-free home loan up to $1.2 million to buy a house within 30 miles of LSU's campus, 50 hours of travel on a private plan provided by LSU, relocation funds and the cost of his Notre Dame buyout.
In 12 seasons at Notre Dame, Kelly’s record was 92-39, including 11-1 this season. The Fighting Irish played for the national championship in 2012 and made the College Football Playoff in 2018 and 2020. Kelly passed Knute Rockne as Notre Dame’s all-time winningest coach in September.
His overall coaching record is 263-96-2 at Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State.
Kelly replaces Ed Orgeron, who was fired in October. Orgeron agreed to finish the season, leading the Tigers to a 6-6 finish and bowl eligibility. Offensive line coach Brad Davis was named the interim coach for the bowl game.
In Orgeron’s final two seasons, LSU regressed to 11-11 overall and 8-10 in the SEC.