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Notre Dame paid Brian Kelly north of $3 million in 2020, per tax documents

Notre Dame paid Brian Kelly north of $3 million during the 2020 season, federal tax documents show, although the total sum of the head football coach’s compensation was likely much higher than that.

The school paid Kelly $3,317,436 in total compensation, which on its own was the highest of any athletic-related employee for the reporting period of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Notre Dame paid head men’s basketball coach Mike Brey $2,500,587 and athletic director Jack Swarbrick $1,736,742, according to the school’s Form 990, which it files every year.

Clark Lea, who served as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator, was paid $1,554,305 by Notre Dame for the 2020 reporting period. Lea was hired as Vanderbilt’s head coach after the 2020 season. Lea’s compensation from 2020 is the highest that has ever been publicly reported for a Notre Dame assistant coach.

School president Rev. John Jenkins was paid $1,241,448 for the reporting period.

Kelly was in his 11th year with Notre Dame during the 2020 season. The Irish went 10-0 in the regular season that year before losing in the ACC championship game and then in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff.

Of Kelly’s compensation, the school notes, “During Calendar Year 2020, the university made payments to an LLC owned by the head football coach, which are not reportable compensation for purposes of Form 990. Therefore, the payments are excluded from Form 990 Part VII and schedule J, Part II.”

Another line adds, “The head football coach is permitted to receive compensation from external sources with prior written approval from the university however, the university is not a party to any agreements between the coach and any third party for the payment of compensation to the coach, and the coach does not provide services to the university as a result of any such agreements.”

Kelly received $1,366,793 in base compensation, $608,500 in bonus and incentive compensation, $227,173 in other reportable compensation, $1,028,500 in retirement and other deferred compensation, and $86,740 in nontaxable benefits.

Kelly was hired by LSU this past December, agreeing to a 10-year, $95 million contract with the Tigers.

(Photo: Robin Alam / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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