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Mel Tucker one of 15 highest-paid football coaches in NCAA

Posted: 4:40 PM, Feb 13, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-13 18:51:00-05
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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Newly hired Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker will make more than $5 million per year with a chance for six-figure performance bonuses.

Tucker’s six-year contract pays him an annual base salary of $3.8 million from the university. He will also receive $1.2 million each year for making media appearances, contracts for footwear and apparel, and appearances made on behalf of MSU.

The school’s apparel supplier, currently Nike, will pay him $100,000 a year. If he remains in the head coach position for 12 continuous months before July 1, he will get a $400,000 retention bonus from MSU.

In total, Tucker is guaranteed an annual salary of $5.5 million — more than double his salary at Colorado. He is among the 12 highest-paid coaches nationally according to a list of salaries compiled by USA Today.

MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo, who has been with the school since 1995, makes over $4 million a year.

Performance bonuses for Tucker include:

  • $25,000 for being named Big Ten Coach of the Year
  • $50,000 for being named National Coach of the Year
  • $75,000 if MSU plays a bowl game
  • $100,000 for winning Big Ten division title
  • $100,000 for winning Big Ten championship game
  • $125,000 for appearing in a non-College Football Playoff bowl game as the Big Ten’s No. 3 or 4 team
  • $250,000 for playing in CFP non-semifinal bowl game
  • $275,000 for playing in CFP
  • $300,000 for appearing in CFP Championship
  • $375,000 for winning national title

Other benefits of his contract include season tickets to multiple MSU sports, the use of a private plane for his family and friends, and two vehicles.

His contract also says MSU will pay for or reimburse Tucker for a country club membership at a club of his choosing.

If Tucker decides to leave the school for another coaching job before Jan. 15, 2021, he will owe MSU $6 million. Damages decrease with each year.