Bill Walsh will return as Stanford's head football coach for a salary much higher than he and university officials have indicated, the San Jose Mercury News reported today.
In addition to the $350,000 base salary and incentives Walsh will receive from Stanford, boosters will augment that figure by $500,000 a year over the five-year term of the contract, sources inside and outside the university told the newspaper.
When addressing his contract at the news conference yesterday afternoon to announce his hiring, Walsh, 60, said: "There is substantial difference in the salary I would have received from [San Francisco 49ers owner] Eddie DeBartolo and from NBC. It wasn't as if I was maneuvering for more."
The 49ers were prepared to pay Walsh, the team's coach from 1979-88, about $600,000-$700,000 a year to become a team consultant, sources said. NBC reportedly paid him $500,000 this year, although it's possible he could have received more to stay as the network's No. 1 football analyst.
Asked to comment on the booster payments, Leland repeatedly said he would neither confirm nor deny that additional booster money was being paid to Walsh. He would only say that Walsh's salary is "competitive" with the other top coaches in the Pacific-10 Conference.
Of the $500,000 bonus, Leland said: "This is just speculation put forth by ignorant people. I haven't read a correct figure about Mr. Walsh's salary in the media yet."