Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio speaks at a pep rally ahead of the Rose Bowl. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)
East Lansing — Michigan State proved last season it belonged among the best football programs in the country, winning the Rose Bowl and earning a school-record 13 victories while capturing its second Big Ten championship.
On Tuesday, the university showed it is committed to remaining in the same category by amending the contracts of coach Mark Dantonio and his entire staff, giving the head coach a substantial raise and making assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi the highest-paid assistant in the Big Ten.
Dantonio’s new deal adds a year to his current contract — he’s now signed on for six years — and raises his base salary from $682,905 to $2 million. He also saw his supplemental income increased to $1 million from $869,000, and had $86,000 added to his contingent annual base, up from $200,000. He also will continue to receive $100,000 from his shoe/apparel agreement and $50,000 guaranteed performance incentives.
A nice new perk, Dantonio also will have access to a private plane for 25 hours for personal use, something basketball coach Tom Izzo also enjoys.
All together, Dantonio’s total compensation package nearly doubles, to $3.64 million from $1.99 million and makes him the fifth-highest paid coach in the Big Ten behind Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Michigan’s Brady Hoke, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and Penn State’s James Franklin.
“Under Coach Dantonio’s leadership, the MSU football program not only has risen in national prominence but also continues to develop well-rounded student-athletes who have gone on to great careers in a variety of fields,” Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon said in a statement. “Week in and week out, Coach Dantonio empowers our players to meet and exceed their goals. That laser focus, sense of family and value-based work ethic are what being a Spartan is all about.”
The amended contract provides Dantonio with an opportunity to work for the Michigan State Athletics Department for five years (previously two years) after he retires from coaching, and the buy-out provisions have been modified.
Meanwhile, $785,000 has been approved to be distributed to Dantonio’s assistants, including a raise for Narduzzi that now pays him $904,583.
He had been paid a little less than $560,000 last season before being named the Frank Broyles Award winner, given annually to the top assistant in the country. Narduzzi also turned down the head coaching job at Connecticut to return to Michigan State, where he has built the Spartans into one of the top defenses in the nation.
In addition to Narduzzi, the rest of the staff salaries include $379,167 for co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach Dave Warner; $368,333 for co-offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Jim Bollman; $260,000 for secondary coach Harlon Barnett; $260,000 for linebackers/special teams coach Mike Tressel; $254,583 for quarterbacks coach/recruiting coordinator Brad Salem; $254,583 for offensive line coach Mark Staten; $243,750 for defensive line coach Ron Burton; and $243,750 for wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel.
“Continuity has been and will continue to be an important ingredient for the sustained success of our football program,” Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said. “The increased compensation isn’t simply a reward for past performance but signifies our expectation for continued excellence.”
Michigan State capped one of its best seasons with the win over Stanford in the Rose Bowl after knocking off previously unbeaten Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game. The Spartans finished No. 3 in the final Associated Press and coaches’ polls, the highest finish in the national polls since 1966 when the Spartans ranked No. 2 in the AP and United Press International polls with a 9-0-1 record.
In seven seasons at Michigan State, Dantonio, 57, has piled up a 64-29 record. He has made a bowl game each season, winning the last three.
“The University continues to make a commitment to provide all of the necessary tools to build and sustain a championship-caliber football program,” Dantonio said. “I want to thank President Simon, Mark Hollis and the entire administration for their trust and loyalty.
“Coaching staff stability is extremely important for the long-term success of a program. We have outstanding coaches and support personnel. We’re very excited about what our program has accomplished over the last seven years, and we believe the best is yet to come. Our focus will be to continue winning championships. We have proven that we can consistently compete with the top teams in the country. As we move forward, we will continue to dream big.”
Man in charge
A look at football coach Mark Dantonio’s salary:
Base: $2,000,000 base salary
Contingent annual bonus: $286,000
Shoe/apparel agreement: $100,000
Guaranteed incentives: $50,000
The five highest paid coaches in the Big Ten (in millions):