Although he was fired as Notre Dame's coach after the 2004 season, he was still on the university's payroll as of June 30, 2008. This according to the latest Form 990 federal tax form that was filed by the university and obtained by the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
Willingham was paid $650,000 from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008, the third year in a row he has been paid that sum since his firing.
That is higher than the base salary of current coach Charlie Weis and makes Willingham the second-highest paid employee on Notre Dame's payroll who is not an officer, director or trustee.
Weis was paid $521,750 in base pay for the same period along with $54,030 in contributions to employee benefits and $65,071 in expenses. Combined, Notre Dame paid Weis $640,851.That does not include potential monies from camps, speaking appearances, apparel deals and radio shows to reach a higher salary figure.
Weis' base salary in 2007-08 was actually lower than the previous fiscal year, when it was $598,000, part of a package of $716,227.
Notre Dame has never released terms of Weis' contract, who has a record of 29-21 entering his fifth season. Notre Dame, a private institution, is not required to release contracts and employee salary information other than what the government requires on Form 990.
Willingham, who went on to coach Washington, is believed to have received a lump sum of $1 million after he was fired last year as Husky coach.