Forbes: Notre Dame's Brian Kelly is top CFB coach 'for the money'

Thursday August 7th, 2014

Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly topped Forbes' list of the best college football coaches “for the money.” 

The top three coaches on the list, in order: Kelly, Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Alabama’s Nick Saban. Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier round out the top five.

The list was compiled based on win-loss record over the last two seasons, strength of schedule as measured by Sagarin ratings and salary as a share of overall football expenses.

More: The Andy Staples Podcast: Larry Fedora talks North Carolina football

The Irish reached the 2013 BCS National Championship game and have compiled a 21-5 record over the last two seasons under Kelly. The Notre Dame coach has earned about $1.09 million annually over that span, according to Forbes. 

In 1987, Kelly accepted a low-level job that paid $4,000 per year. But in doing so, he sparked a career arc that would eventually bring two Division II national titles as the head coach at Grand Valley before subsequent gigs at Central Michigan,Cincinnati and, finally, Notre Dame.

The Seminoles went undefeated en route to winning the 2014 national championship, while the Tide beat the Irish to win the 2013 title.

- Chris Johnson and Pete Thamel

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.