Notre Dame is paying Charlie Weis a lot of money to run its football program, though the number is not as much as one might think.
The school paid Weis $565,566 in salary from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006, along with $53,113 in deferred compensation and benefits and a $55,100 expense account. The figures are from the latest tax form the school and other non-profit groups are required to submit to the Internal Revenue Service. The forms are open to the public.
The salary listed encompasses Weis’ first season in South Bend.
Weis, though, isn’t the highest-paid employee at Notre Dame. He’s the third-highest paid employee – or ex-employee – at the university.
Weis’ pay is much lower than amounts reported in the media, which had him making $12 million over six years. After he received an extension in October, 2005, the reported number reached anywhere from $21 million to $40 million to keep him in South Bend until 2015.
Weis, the former offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, is entering his third season coaching Notre Dame. His salary has been a source of speculation since he was hired in December 2004.
John Heisler, the school’s associate athletic director for media relations, said the school never confirmed any hypothetical salary numbers for Weis.
“People have determined whatever they wanted in terms of salaries, and we have chosen not to enter the fray,” Heisler said. “For the most part, whatever guesstimates of people’s salaries at Notre Dame have been exactly that.”
Dennis Brown, the assistant vice president for news and information at Notre Dame, said the salary listed for Weis is accurate and the university will not discuss any other payments he – or any employee – may receive come from third parties. Coaches’ salaries can fluctuate, though, due to “incentive-based bonuses in their contracts.” Those bonuses are included in the salaries reported to the IRS.
Often, incentives are linked to a team’s performance – either athletically or academically.
Rick Klee, the university’s tax manager, said no salaries are being concealed in foundations to avoid showing exactly how much coaches are paid.
“There is nothing being hidden,” Klee said . “That’s what we paid the guy.”
Notre Dame Sports Properties, which produces the football and basketball television and radio coaches’ shows and sometimes sets up appearances, is independent of the university. General Manager Scott Correira declined to comment about compensation for the coaches, referring questions to Heisler.
Heisler said the athletic department wouldn’t comment on the structure of coaches’ salaries. Because Notre Dame is a private institution, it is not required to disclose contracts and payment of its employees. Weis, through football sports information director Brian Hardin, declined to comment.
“That’s between the university and our coaches,” Heisler said.
The IRS forms require the five highest-paid employees be listed on its tax filings.
Weis was one of three coaches among Notre Dame’s top five highest-paid employees in 2005-06, but he’s not the highest-paid coach.
That distinction goes to Tyrone Willingham. The school paid the former football coach $650,000 as part of his contract settlement after firing him on Nov. 30, 2004. He also received $64 in other expenses. Willingham, who will enter his third season at the University of Washington in 2007, was the highest-paid employee – or former employee – at Notre Dame.
In the last fiscal year Willingham was employed by Notre Dame, he was paid $1,939,468 in salary along with $3,259,440 in deferred compensation and employee benefits, likely due to the buyout of his contract.
Since being hired by Washington, Willingham received a base salary of $425,004 in 2004-05 and ’05-06, according to numbers provided by the Seattle-based school. This past year, Washington bumped his base to $437,760. In addition, he receives $275,000 in appearance and consulting fees and $275,000 for media compensation. He is given a $100,000 housing allowance, a $200,000 representation fee, $2,000 for gasoline and $25,000 for family travel.
Including incentives for academics and performance, Willingham made $1,339,504 in each of his first two years at Washington. In ’06-07, he made $1,314,760 without incentive-based pay, which is still to be determined.
Willingham banked $1,989,568 combined from Washington and Notre Dame in 2005-06.
In 2001-02, Willingham and former coach Bob Davie were the top two paid employees by Notre Dame, with Willingham being compensated money lost for leaving Stanford and Davie given $1,514,200 in severance pay.
Currently squeezed between Willingham and Weis is Michael D. Donovan, the managing director for private capital investments for the school.
Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey earned $493,679 in salary during that time along with $50,329 deferred compensation and his contribution to employee benefits. He also had a $21,395 expense account. Brey was listed fourth among university employees, just above Roger Huang, the chairman and a professor in the finance department. Huang had been the highest-paid employee in 2002-03.
Brey received a two-year contract extension in May after leading Notre Dame to a 24-8 record and an NCAA Tournament berth last season. Irish women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw received a similar extension, also in May.
McGraw, not listed among the ’05-06 top five, was listed there the prior two years. Since 2000, Notre Dame’s top-five employee list has been highly populated with coaches and sports administrators.
In comparison, Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner made $250,000 in base salary in both 2005 and 2006 before being bumped up to $256,250 for 2007, according to documents obtained from the university. He is one of 10 employees in the football office to clear $100,000 in the last year.
Indiana basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, who runs the school’s marquee sport, made $500,000 in base salary in both 2006 and 2007.
At Purdue, football coach Joe Tiller made $226,470 in 2005 and $231,000 last season. Including Tiller, eight Boilermakers football coaches made $100,000 or more in base salary in 2006. Men’s basketball coach Matt Painter and women’s basketball coach Sharon Versyp each made $208,000 in 2006. In 2005, Painter and then-women’s coach Kristi Curry made $200,000.