The Contract That LSU Gave Brian Kelly Is Full Of Fat Bonuses
The biggest question after LSU hired Brian Kelly as their new Head Football Coach will probably never be answered. The biggest question is whether or not Kelly was always the first choice, or if pulling him away from Notre Dame was the, (pun intended) Hail Mary option?
Really, the only way we can get a good read on that is to look at how much LSU was willing to pay Kelly. That's something we got a good look at today.
We know the base salary is between $9 milliion and $10 million a year for the life of the contract. But the incentives that are laced through the contract bump those numbers up even more. With some of those incentives happening without Kelly doing anything outside of staying employed.
One of his bonuses is a "retention" bonus, meaning he gets $500,000 a year for just being there...
According to Ross Dellenger, he's also getting vehicle bonuses and home loan bonuses...
He doesn't have to do anything to earn all of that extra cheddar into this deal. But if he DOES do something extra, like make a bowl game, he's going to get even more. Which remember, getting into a bowl game means 6 wins for bowl eligibility...so he basically has a 6-win bonus. That bonus is $500,000. So for being the coach ($500k) and winning 6 games ($500k) he get's another $1 million a season on top of his $9+ million salary.
But wait, there's more.
In addition to all of that, if he makes the SEC Championship game, that's $75,000. If he wins that game, it's doubled to $150,000.
If the bowl game LSU plays in lands in the "New Years Six" bowl games, add on another $100,000 to his $500,000 bowl bonus. If that game is a College Football Playoff game, that gets bumped from $100k to 200K, and if they go to the National Championship Game, bump it up to $300K. If Brian Kelly wins the National Championship with LSU, that goes up to another $500,000 bonus.
We've got more to get to here.
If he is named the SEC Coach of the Year, that's $50,000, if he gets National Coach of the Year, add in another $75,000.
Then there are "Academic Achievements", which aren't specified, but he gets $25k each. We don't know if that means per player, per season, or what. But there's some extra money there too.
Now if Kelly decides to leave LSU for another job, he has to pay back $2 million. But if LSU wants to get rid of Kelly...they're gonna pay.
If Kelly is terminated without cause (how coaches are normally fired) he will get 90% of his remaining LSU base salary. If he wins a National Championship before he's fired, he will get 100% of his remaining contract. Which by the way, the last two LSU Head Football Coaches were fired after they both won National Championships.
So let's say Brian Kelly takes LSU to a New Year's Bowl Game in his first year, and wins SEC Coach of the Year for doing it...how much would he make? Base salary for the first year is $9 million. Longevity Bonus of $500K, 6-win Bowl Eligible Bonus of $500K, New Years 6 Bonus of $100K, and $50K for SEC Coach of the Year. That brings us to $10.15 million, before we add in "Academic Achievement" Bonuses and car/home allowances. Pushing it even closer to $11 million in his first year.