It was late October, 2005. Halloween was nigh and the echoes were awake and dancing all across Notre Dame's campus. New head coach Charlie Weis had descended upon South Bend from Foxboro to save Fighting Irish football, and he was well on his way.
Notre Dame was 5-2, with but a three-point, overtime loss to Michigan State and the Bush Push loss to USC counting against them. Athletics director Kevin White moved to lock down his rock star coach for the long-term, signing Weis to a 10-year contract during Notre Dame's bye week.
You know the rest of the story by now. Weis's tenure collapsed in a heap of hot bluster; Notre Dame was blown out in consecutive Fiesta and Sugar bowls and never whiffed anything resembling success again. He was fired in 2009 after winning 35 games in 62 tries and never coached again. (Oh, wait, no. The Chiefs and Florida hired him as their offensive coordinator, and Kansas made them their head coach.)
As detailed by USA Today's Steve Berkowitz, Weis is just now off Notre Dame's books. That extension ran through December 2015, and the former coach was the highest-paid person on the Irish's books as of 2014, according to the department's tax records:
According to the school's tax records, Weis received more than $6.6 million pay and severance in 2009. He subsequently has been paid nearly $10.5 million by Notre Dame from 2010 through 2014. The tax records say that Weis was due to be paid through December 2015.
It's kind of fitting that Weis closed that oh-so-promising 2005 debut season with a decisive loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, and Notre Dame celebrated its first post-Weis day by again losing decisively to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
(HT USA Today)