Michigan State and coach Mel Tucker have agreed to a historic 10-year, $95 million contract extension, making the Sparta leader his second year the highest-paid black coach in the sport. . Although the program did not officially announce Wednesday night’s signing, Tucker tweeted his appreciation to the State of Michigan to make a deal.
With the coaching carousel starting earlier than ever thanks to an early contract period, Tucker’s name has appeared in relation to the top vacancies College football jobs around the country – most notably at LSU, where he was Nick Saban’s assistant in 2000. He was also seen as a potential candidate for NFL Head coach contracts this offseason.
The expansion is a massive show of force for a show that hopes to sustain on the national stage. Tucker’s $9.5 million annual contract is second only to Saban’s $9.75 million annual contract in Alabama. Dabo Swinney of Clemson and Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M were other contemporaries in the same range.
In appearances on “The Draymond Green Show“, Tucker said during the extended talks: “I’ve always made it clear that I think Michigan State is a destination job, not a stepping stone. I have Big Ten roots. Play in Wisconsin. I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. My parents live 3 hours 15 minutes ago. My wife is from Chicago. I know the Big Ten landscape. This is where I started my career as a graduate assistant to Nick Saban. The state of Michigan is a special place to me. I never intended to come here and was just passing through. I believe we’re building something special here, and I have tremendous support here, and we’re on the right track. “
In his second season since taking over from Mark Dantonio, Tucker led Sparta’s No. 12 to a 9-2 record, including a win over rival Michigan. Tucker was the first coach in Michigan State history to beat Michigan in each of his first two seasons. Among the highlights of this season for MSU is the transfer of Kenneth Walker III who has become a Heisman Trophy contender while Sparta ranks among the top 20 for peak defense.
Contracts suitable for lucrative extensions Texas A&M pays Fisher in September is expected to similarly make Fisher not a viable candidate for LSU. Earlier this week, Penn State signed James Franklin to 10 years, 75 million dollars contract renewal (plus $1 million in annual life insurance loan).
At $9.5 million per year, Tucker’s salary surpasses that of other notable black coaches, including Mike Tomlin for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics. Rivers previously led all Black coaches with $8 million a year in earnings.