Chip Kelly is entering his second year as the UCLA football coach with an eye towards massive improvement. Any improvement seems attainable for a 3-9 squad from last fall that surged a bit in November, knocking off rival Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl.
A bowl game and another victory over their crosstown rivals seems to be the minimum expectation for the former Oregon coach, who is in year two of his 5-year, $23.3 million contract with the Bruins.
Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the Los Angeles Daily News details the initial deal that was signed in late 2017.
Kelly has a $300,000 base salary per year for the duration of his five-year contract and an annual “talent fee” for participation in public appearances at booster gatherings, university functions and UCLA media broadcasts. The talent fee starts at $3 million for the first contract year, which ends on Jan. 15, 2019, and increases to $4.3 million during each of the final two years.
The starting talent fee is nearly double that of former head coach Jim Mora when Mora signed his first contract with UCLA in 2012.
Kelly is due a $3.2 million talent fee in the second year of his contract and $4 million during the third year.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Kelly also has an “intellectual property clause” for all copyrightable works created during his tenure in Westwood.
“All copyrightable works that Coach creates during Coach’s employment will be considered ‘work made for hire’ and shall, upon creation, be owned exclusively by University,” the contract reads. “ … For purposes of this Contract, ‘Intellectual Property’ means inventions, discoveries, designs, developments, improvements, methods, processes, procedures, plans, projects, systems, techniques, strategies, information, compositions, know-how, works, concepts and ideas, or modifications or derivatives of any of the foregoing … conceived, made, created, developed or reduced to practice by Coach.”
This salary ends up being less than $1 million more per season than Kelly’s predecessor Jim Mora, Jr.
Kelly’s Contract Compared to the Rest of the Country
Kelly is in the middle of the pack in the Pac-12 in terms of annual salary, ranking fifth in the conference per USA Today. This doesn’t include Clay Helton and Southern Cal, since the school is a private institution that isn’t required to release financial records for public consumption.
He also makes far less than Florida’s Dan Mullen, who signed a six year, $36.6 million contractto return to Gainesville. Kelly was in the running for the Gators job before landing with the Bruins.
Alabama’s Nick Saban is the best-compensated with $8.3 million a year.
In addition to Kelly’s decent, albeit unspectacular sum, his coordinators are among the most underpaid in the Power Five conferences. His offensive coordinator Justin Frye makes just $650,000, while his defensive coordinator Jerry Azinaro makes $700,000.
These numbers rank No. 70 and No. 61 respectively in the country per USA Today. For comparison’s sake, both of Minnesota’s coordinators make more, and the Gophers top accomplishment in the last decade is winning a bowl game in Detroit last December.
With UCLA shelling out cash for several non-revenue sports, the money is traditionally tighter for the bigger jobs such as football and basketball. With Kelly recording a 3-9 record in his first season, he needs to provide better results in 2019 if he wants to see a pay bump down the line.