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Irish paid Weis $700,000 in '06-07

Base salary less than former coach Willingham

Weis

When Charlie Weis agreed to his contract extension, he said his decision to come to Notre Dame was never about money.

Weis might be making a lot of money as the Irish’s football coach, but the post-extension contract numbers that had been speculated – from $21 million to $40 million – might not be accurate.

The school paid Weis $598,000 in salary from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007, plus $51,628 in contributions to employee benefit plans and an expense account of $66,649. Together, the released portion of Weis’ package is $716,277.

The figures are from the school’s federal 990 tax form. On the form, the Internal Revenue Service requires the school to list its five highest-paid employees.

“Money was never an issue,” Weis said when he received his extension in 2005. “You can always make more money in the NFL than you can in college. If you were going for money, the thing to do is to go to the NFL. In the last 24 hours, I’ve heard zillions of dollars of differences between the lowest end and the highest end, and it’s not very relevant because if I was making the decision based on money, I’d be coaching in the NFL.”

Weis declined to release the terms of his deal when it was signed in 2005. It runs until 2015. The numbers are part of Weis’ complete salary package, which doesn’t have to be released to the public.

“We just simply have not given that to anybody,” said John Heisler, Notre Dame senior associate athletic director for media relations.

Weis and other coaches can receive more money from speaking appearances, apparel deals and radio shows, as examples, to reach a total salary figure.

Weis, who will enter his fourth season at Notre Dame this year, did receive a bump from his salary reported by the school for July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006. In that fiscal year, Weis made $565,566 in salary and $53,115 in deferred compensation and benefits, and he had an expense account of $55,100.

His compensation then was less than former coach Tyrone Willingham, and for the second straight year, Notre Dame paid Willingham more than Weis in base salary.

The school paid Willingham $650,000 from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007, as part of its settlement with the current University of Washington coach after Notre Dame fired him Nov. 30, 2004.

The amount of money is the same as reported on the 2005-06 tax form.

Weis is 22-15 in his three seasons in South Bend, including Bowl Championship Series berths in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Willingham was 21-15 in his three seasons at Notre Dame. Willingham is 11-25 since taking over at Washington.

The two teams play in Seattle on Oct. 25.

Weis is the third-highest paid employee at Notre Dame, excluding officers, directors and trustees, in 2006-07. Willingham is second.

First is Michael D. Donovan, managing director of private capital investments in the investment office. Donovan makes $693,708 in salary, has $195,091 in employee benefits and an expense account of $87.

Including officers, directors and trustees, Scott C. Malpass, vice president and chief investment officer, tops the salary list with $1,242,998 in compensation, $365,147 in benefit plans and an expense account of $2,115.

Dennis Brown, assistant vice president for news and information at Notre Dame, confirmed the accuracy of salaries listed but declined to comment “beyond what we filed.”

The salaries filed on the tax form include all potential bonuses, Brown said.

Notre Dame, a private institution, does not have to release contracts and information on employee compensation other than what is required in the 990.

Weis is currently visiting U.S. troops in the Mideast.

Four coaches, including Willingham, are listed among the five highest-paid employees excluding officers, directors and trustees.

Behind Willingham and Weis is Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey, who made $478,299 in compensation, $43,592 in employee benefits and had an expense account of $23,804.

The number is lower than the 2005-06 tax form, when Brey earned $493,679 in salary and $50,329 in deferred compensation and employee benefits, plus a $21,395 expense account.

Women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw, who was not listed in the five highest-paid employees in 2005-06, earned $468,781 according to the latest tax form along with $47,798 in employee benefits and $19,010 in an expense account.

mrothstein@jg.net

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