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LSU makes Brian Kelly one of the highest paid coaches in college football

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 8:14 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Brian Kelly will become one of the richest coaches in college football, thanks to a lucrative contract to lead the LSU Tigers.

“Just talking to the people around town and especially the guys that played for LSU, they’re excited. You get the all-time winningest coach in Notre Dame history to be the coach at LSU, that’s not something you’re going to frown down at,” said Jeremy Hill, former LSU running back.

According to the contract term sheet obtained by WAFB Tuesday night, Kelly will receive a 10-year, $95 million contract. Kelly will start off making $9 million in his first year, with a slight pay bump each year until he’s making $10 million by the final year of his contract.

Incentives within the contract include the use of two cars, an interest free home loan of up to $1.2 million, and 50 hours a year on a private jet for personal use.

Additional incentives include championships, bowl games and coaching awards. Kelly could receive a bonus up to $500,000 each time the Tigers make a bowl game appearance. If Kelly was to win the SEC, he will get a $250,000 raise for each remaining contract year. The contract then goes on to say if Kelly wins a national championship, he will get a $500,000 raise for each remaining contract year.

The total value of Kelly’s contract could exceed $100 million. That would put him elite company in the college ranks, according to sports attorney Roy Maughan, Jr.

“We don’t know yet what will be earned by Lincoln Riley at USC. It’s a private school. They’re a private institution and have not yet revealed all those salary details, but we know that this coach, with his incentives, potentially the highest paid, or maybe second highest paid coach in the country,” said Maughan.

The contract also includes a clause in case LSU decides to part ways with Kelly. If that happens, LSU will owe him 90% of his remaining salary if he’s fired without cause. If Kelly wins a national championship, the school will owe him 100% of his salary.

Maughan said this clause is an unprecedented move by Athletic Director, Scott Woodward.

“We are getting a top-quality coach. We may not be getting the top-quality coach we thought we would be getting last week or Saturday or the week before that or who the paper had been projecting over the past weeks, but he has gone out and got a person who has a resume and has proved to be a winner and is not an unknown commodity. So, for that you can say he did a good job,” said Maughan.

“I think Scott handled it a tremendous way and you saw he got the big fish man. He went big game hunting and got one of the best coaches in college football,” said Hill.

In 31 years as a head coach, Kelly has amassed a record of 284-97-2, which ranks him first among all active FBS coaches in career victories, ahead of Alabama’s Nick Saban (272 wins) and North Carolina’s Mack Brown (265 wins). Kelly has only had two teams finish below .500 during his 31-year collegiate career.

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