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Mark Dantonio, making $100K as MSU ambassador, accepts indefinite furlough

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

As athletic departments around the country deal with shrinking revenue amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan State is getting some relief from an old friend.

Former football coach Mark Dantonio, who stepped down in early February, is taking an indefinite furlough from his current ambassador position within the athletic department that originally was paying him $100,000 annually.

Former MSU football coach Mark Dantonio.

“Mark Dantonio and athletic director Bill Beekman had an agreement where Dantonio would be paid $100,000 a year to assist the department in a variety of ways, most of which would come in the realm of donor relations,” said Matt Larson, Michigan State associate athletic director for communications.

“As the global pandemic has drastically reduced those opportunities, Dantonio graciously and willingly volunteered for an indefinite furlough.”

More: Tressel: Foundation in place to build another 'great' defense at Michigan State

Dantonio’s salary also was subject to the department’s salary reduction plan that began on Sept. 1 and is to last for 12 months. That means Dantonio’s $100,000 salary was reduced 2% to $98,000.

The winningest football coach in program history with a 114-57 record, Dantonio announced Feb. 4 he was retiring.

Eight days later, Michigan State hired Mel Tucker to take over.

Tucker and the Spartans open the season Oct. 24 at home against Rutgers.