MSU head coach Mel Tucker signs 10-year, $95 million extension


MSU head coach Mel Tucker in the Spartans’ matchup with Purdue on Nov. 6, 2021/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Nathan Stearns, Sports Broadcast Director

EAST LANSING, Mich— At long last, the deal is done.

According to multiple reports, MSU head coach Mel Tucker has signed a massive new contract extension. The deal, confirmed by Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press and Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal, among others, is a 10-year, $95 million extension that will make Tucker the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten and the second-highest paid coach in the country, behind Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

The contract, set to run until 2032, will provide Tucker with a base salary of $5.9 million as well as $3.2 million in supplemental compensation for media and personal appearances to go along with a $400,000 continent annual bonus.

“The Board of Trustees fully supports a new contract for Coach Tucker,” said Dianne Byrum, chairperson of the MSU Board of Trustees. “We are very happy with his success at Michigan State University and the renewed excitement for our football program among the Spartan Community.”

The deal was primarily financed by MSU alums Matt Ishbia and Steve St. Andre, according to the Free Press. Ishbia, the president and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, one of the largest wholesale mortgage lenders in the country, recently donated $32 million in February for a new football building.

Ishbia, a billionaire, was a member of the MSU men’s basketball team from 1999-2003 and graduated in 2003 from the Eli Broad School of Business.

St. Andre, 50, is the founder and CEO of Shift Digital, a large digital marketing agency.

“The decision to extend Mel Tucker’s contract is not based on one year of results, but rather it’s an investment in a promising future for Spartan football,” said MSU Vice President and Director of Athletics, Alan Haller. “Since his hire in February 2020, the program has experienced high levels of success in three key areas: student-athlete development – on and off the field, recruiting momentum and donor and alumni base engagement and support. Mel has brought an energy to this program which has benefitted not only our athletic department, but also the university and the surrounding community.”

MSU head coach Mel Tucker barks out orders during the Spartans’ matchup with Purdue on Nov. 6, 2021/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

In three years as a college head coach at Colorado and Michigan State, Tucker has compiled a 16-14 overall record, including an 11-7 record at MSU. After a difficult 2-5 season in 2020, he has led MSU to a 9-2 record and a No. 12 slot in the College Football Playoff Rankings in 2021. With a win against Penn State on Saturday, MSU will be in prime position for a potential berth in a New Year’s Six Bowl.

“In Mel, I think we have a driven, no-nonsense coach who I’m happy will be around us for the next 10 years,” MSU men’s head basketball coach Tom Izzo said. “We have recruited, fundraised and are building a friendship which I think will help Michigan State be in a position to be one of the premier programs in the country.”

Currently, the Spartans also have the No. 18 recruiting class for 2022, according to 247Sports. The 2022 class is composed of five four stars, including four in-state four-stars (Alex VanSumeren, Dillon Tatum, Jaden Mangham and Antonio Gates Jr).

Four of Tucker’s wins at MSU have come against ranked opponents, including two consecutive wins against rival Michigan. He is the first MSU coach in history to beat Michigan in each of his first two years.

The agreed-upon deal is contingent upon approval by the Board of Trustees.