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MSU's Mark Dantonio, assistants get pay hike

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Mark Dantonio

East Lansing — Michigan State’s continued success on the field has paid off again for Mark Dantonio and his staff.

The university announced on Friday that Dantonio and his entire coaching staff have all been given raises after leading the Spartans to a Big Ten championship and their first appearance in the College Football Playoff.

Under the amended terms of Dantonio’s contract, his base salary goes from $2 million to $2,264,480 and his contingent annual bonus goes from $286,000 to $700,000. The revised contract also includes a one-time $4.3 million contingent annual bonus if he remains the school’s head coach through Jan. 15, 2020. The contract remains a six-year roll over deal.

The amended contract also provides Dantonio with post-coaching employment for one year if he retires before Jan. 15, 2020, with a salary of $1 million. In addition, the buy-out provision of the contract has been eliminated if he leaves employment.

The changes bring Dantonio’s annual compensation from $3.67 million to $4.3 million.

“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,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a statement. “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.”

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Michigan State has finished in the top 10 in the nation each of the last three seasons and has compiled a 7-2 record in its last nine games against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 10. Last season included wins over No. 7 Oregon, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Iowa while Michigan State beat rival Michigan for the seventh time in the last eight meetings.

“With three-straight Top 10 finishes and two Big Ten Championships during that same period, Mark Dantonio and his coaching staff have built an elite football program,” athletics director Mark Hollis said in a statement. “Michigan State’s football brand has never been stronger. We’re so excited about the future of our football program under Mark’s leadership and direction.

“The amended contract and enhanced compensation reflect his and his coaching staff’s value in the current marketplace. These updated figures ensure that Mark and his assistants remain in the upper tier of the Big Ten.”

Based on salaries entering the 2015 season compiled by USA Today, Dantonio would be the fourth-highest paid coach in the Big Ten behind Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh ($7,004,000), Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($5,860,000) and Penn State’s James Franklin ($4,400,000). The new salary would move Dantonio ahead of Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz ($4,075,000).

The raise also would rank Dantonio 11th in the nation, behind Mississippi’s Hugh Freeze ($4,310,000). Alabama’s Nick Saban is the highest-paid coach at $7,087,481.

“The University remains committed to providing all of the tools necessary to sustain a championship-caliber football program,” Dantonio said in a statement. “I wish to thank President Simon, Mark Hollis, the Board of Trustees and the entire administration for their trust, loyalty and support.”

Almost $250,000 was also provided to increase the salary of all nine assistant coaches.

Co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach Dave Warner ($447,184), assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett ($437,434), co-offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Jim Bollman ($437,434), co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Mike Tressel ($437,434), quarterbacks coach/recruiting coordinator Brad Salem ($337,686), offensive line coach Mark Staten ($337,686), defensive line coach Ron Burton ($327,687), wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel ($327,687), and linebackers/special teams coach Mark Snyder ($327,687) all saw increases.

“Coaching staff continuity remains extremely important for the long-term success of our football program,” Dantonio said. ‘We have had outstanding coaches and support personnel, who have been committed to having a positive impact on the lives of our student-athletes. Coaching is teaching, and our coaches do it as well as anyone in the country. We’re excited about what our program has accomplished over the last nine years — the last three seasons in particular. We truly believe the best is yet to come. We will continue to strive for excellence in all aspects of our program.”