MSU athletic director Bill Beekman speaks about challenges, changes after the board of trustees unanimously approved his contract Tuesday. Beth LeBlanc, The Detroit News
East Lansing — Bill Beekman accepted the job as Michigan State’s permanent athletic director on Monday, and in the process, got a hefty raise.
The former secretary of the university’s Board of Trustees was making $400,000 per year as the interim athletic director, a position he assumed in early February when appointed by interim president John Engler.
Beekman’s new deal will pay him $750,000 with a potential $100,000 in bonuses, according to the contract released by Michigan State on Wednesday. The five-year agreement places him in the top half of Big Ten athletic directors in base compensation and in the same ballpark as his predecessor, Mark Hollis.
Hollis, who retired in January amid the fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, was paid a base salary of $759,000 with supplemental income totaling $222,000 in 2017, according to his amended contract signed in 2015.
Beekman becomes the sixth-highest paid athletic director in base salary in the 14-member Big Ten. Michigan’s Warde Manuel is just ahead at $842,550 in base salary while Ohio State’s Gene Smith tops the list at $1,000,591. Nebraska’s Bill Moos makes $1 million in base salary while Northwestern’s Jim Phillips is next at $941,594, followed by Minnesota’s Mark Coyle at $850,000.
“I think the world of Bill Beekman,” trustee Joel Ferguson said during the Board’s meeting. “This is just a great thing for Michigan State. We couldn’t find a better person for this job.”
After the formal approval, Beekman credited the job Hollis did while saying he will focus on creating a positive culture and continuing the university's athletic success.
“Mark Hollis was an extraordinary athletic director, and he did tremendous work,” Beekman said. “We’re certainly very different people. Mark’s much more extroverted. I’m probably far more comfortable in front of a spreadsheet than in front of all of you.”