Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker on Wednesday agreed to the new contract that made headlines around college football last week, sources told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.
On his way to becoming one of the highest paid coaches in the sport, Tucker can thank a group of Spartans donors, who gathered to help complete the deal, sources told ESPN Wednesday night: Mat Ishbia, Steve St. Andre, Brian Mosallam and Jason Strayhorn.
The news comes five days after the Spartans dropped a 56-7 decision at Ohio State, Tucker’s second loss in his last three games after Michigan State opener the year at 8-0. The surprising start landed the Spartans in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings before dropping.
Last week, Tucker said Michigan State is a destination job and that he never intended to “just pass through” on his way to another program.
Speaking on The Draymond Green Show with Green, a former basketball star at Michigan State now with the Golden State Warriors, Tucker made his first comments last week since the Detroit Free Press reported that he was in line for a 10-year, $95 million contract.
“I made it clear in my initial press conferences that I thought Michigan State was a destination job and not a stepping stone,” Tucker, in his second season in East Lansing, Michigan, told Green, who played for the Spartans from 2008-2012. “It was never my intention to come here and just pass through. I believe that we’re building something special here. I have tremendous support here to do that, and we’re on the right track.”
Tucker, 49, mentioned his roots in the Big Ten as a former Wisconsin player and a native of Cleveland who started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State for then-coach Nick Saban. He also spent 2001 to 2004 as a defensive assistant at Ohio State.
Tucker’s original deal was scheduled to run through the 2024 season, and with a $5.56 million annual salary. In February 2020, he was hired after only one season at Colorado to replace longtime Spartans coach Mark Dantonio.
Tucker’s name had been mentioned as a potential candidate for the coaching vacancy at LSU, which announced Oct. 17 that coach Ed Orgeron would not return in 2022.