New Michigan State offensive, defensive coordinators to make nearly $1 million

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

New Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker was given a $6-million pool for assistant salaries, and he's not exactly saving that for a rainy day.

Michigan State's new coordinators on offense and defense will get salaries just under $1 million, according to contracts obtained by The Detroit News through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson, the offensive coordinator who followed Tucker from Colorado to Michigan, will draw a $975,000 base salary, while defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton, who came over from Kansas State, will make $950,000.

Michigan State's highest-paid assistant under Mark Dantonio in 2019 was Mike Tressel, who then was defensive coordinator and earned $667,385.

Tressel will coach safeties as a holdover under Tucker, and his contract was the only one that hasn't been publicly released. MSU provided an outdated contract for Tressel, but did include an amended employment agreement that extended the term of Tressel's contract to the earlier of two dates -- March 31, 2022 or when Tressel takes another job.

Here are the other salaries, not including bonus potential:

►Chris Kapilovic, offensive line: $700,000

►Ron Burton, defensive line: $510,000 

►Ted Gilmore, tight ends: $500,000

►Harlon Barnett, defensive backs: $480,000

►Ross Els, special teams: $475,000

►Courtney Hawkins, receivers: $387,000

►Will Peagler, running backs: $200,000

Kapilovic, Els and Peagler joined Tucker from Colorado; Burton like Tressel is a holdover; Gilmore came from Wisconsin; Barnett returns to Michigan State after a stint as Florida State's defensive coordinator; and Hawkins, the former MSU star, arrives after coaching high-school ball in Flint.

Without Tressel's contract, that all adds up to $5.177 million. That also doesn't include support staff, like strength and conditioning coaches, etc.

Also on Friday, MSU apparently hired Jack Tabb from North Texas to be an assistant wide receivers coach. He made the announcement on Twitter.

With Dantonio's sudden retirement in February, and then a week of coaching search, Tucker started behind the 8-ball, but now he really isn't, given college sports have ceased across the country, including recruiting, due to the coronavirus outbreak. MSU announced Friday it's cancelled its spring game, set for April 18.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984