Head coach Mark Dantonio has turned the Michigan State Spartans into a perennial heavyweight, and on Friday he was rewarded with a revised contract, the school announced.
Dantonio's deal remains a rollover contract through 2020, but he received a $264,000 increase in base salary to $2.26 million. His contingent annual bonus jumped from $286,000 to $700,000 with a one-time $4.3 million contingent annual bonus if he remains in his post through Jan. 15, 2020.
Under the new contract, Dantonio's annual compensation increases from $3.67 million to $4.3 million.
His assistants also received a collective pay increase of nearly $250,000.
Dantonio also received a new contract two years ago after winning the Big Ten title and Rose Bowl, with a year added to run through 2020 and an increase in annual compensation from $1.99 million to the $3.67 million it was until Friday.
In nine seasons with MSU, Dantonio is 87-33, has won three conference crowns, has twice been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, has reached a bowl game each season and in 2015 earned a spot in the College Football Playoff.
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon issued a statement essentially saying Friday's decision was a no-brainer:
With a berth in the College Football Playoff this past season, Coach Dantonio has again shown his excellence in building a nationally prominent football program. He is an outstanding leader committed to MSU’s values who empowers his players to become the best Spartans they can be, whether on the field, in the classroom or as part of the MSU community.
A USA Today compilation of coaching salaries in 2015 reported Dantonio was No. 21 among highest paid coaches, but in implementing his new figures, he sits at 11th.
|Highest Paid College Football Coaches|
|1||Nick Saban||Alabama||$7.08 million|
|2||Jim Harbaugh||Michigan||$7 million|
|3||Urban Meyer||Ohio State||$5.86 million|
|4||Bob Stoops||Oklahoma||$5.4 million|
|5||Jimbo Fisher||Florida State||$5.15 million|
|6||Charlie Strong||Texas||$5.1 million|
|7||Kevin Sumlin||Texas A&M||$5 million|
|8||James Franklin||Penn State||$4.4 million|
|9||Les Miles||LSU||$4.38 million|
|10||Hugh Freeze||Ole Miss||$4.31 million|
|11||Mark Dantonio||Michigan State||$4.3 million|
Even with a multi-million dollar salary, Ralph Russo of the Associated Press noted the Spartans are getting Dantonio at a bargain:
Ralph D. Russo @ralphDrussoAP
Fun game for Michigan State fans: make a list of all the coaches making as much or more than Dantonio. Look at it. Smile.2016-2-19 20:54:01
With a storied history on the hardwood that includes seven Final Four appearances since 1999, Michigan State has firmly become a two-sport powerhouse thanks to Dantonio.
Colin Cowherd of CBS Sports last season argued Dantonio is arguably the most underrated coach in the country despite his track record of consistency:
As the Big Ten continues to re-emerge as one of the nation’s toughest football conferences, MSU has been right there at the forefront with two of the past three conference titles and three straight finishes in the Associated Press Top 10.
“Michigan State’s football brand has never been stronger,” athletic director Mark Hollis said in a statement "We’re so excited about the future of our football program under Mark’s leadership and direction.”
The Spartans next season will have to fill holes on the offensive line at quarterback after the departure of Connor Cook, but have great depth across the rest of the lineup that should make them a preseason favorite.