The state of Michigan gives Mel Tucker a $ 95 million 10-year contract, taking an aggressive move to keep a soccer coach who could potentially leave for the LSU or the NFL.
“I am honored to be part of the Spartan process today and for years to come,” Tucker tweeted Wednesday.
The 12th-placed Spartans (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) will complete the regular season against Penn State (7-4, 4-4) on Saturday at home.
The contract makes Tucker one of the richest college football coaches.
Only Alabama-based Nick Saban, one of his mentors, who makes $ 9.75 million a year, makes more annually, according to USA Today’s coach salary database.
Tucker’s 10-year contract puts him in a select company with two coaches with the same tenure: Dabo Sweeney of Clemson and Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M. Swinney’s contract is worth $ 92 million and Fisher’s will pay him over $ 9 million a year starting in 2022.
Tucker’s deal, which expires on January 15, 2032, will have a base salary of $ 5.9 million, additional compensation for media and personal appearances of $ 3.2 million, and a conditional annual bonus of $ 400,000. dollars.
“We’re thrilled to see Mel here over the next 10 years,” United Wholesale Mortgage President and CEO Mat Ishbia, one of the donors funding Tucker’s new deal, told The Associated Press. “He’s a winner. He is a fantastic representation of Michigan, and we look forward to his future.
“We have a winner and we won’t let the winner leave Michigan. Mel didn’t want to leave, but he’s actually the most popular name in football. “
Tucker, 49, is receiving a salary hike in a long-term deal because of what he has done so far – and what has happened in the past in Michigan.
After winning just two games in his debut during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Tucker has led one of college football’s most unlikely teams. The Spartans started the season unrated and ignored and now have a chance to win 10 games and earn a spot in the New Year’s six-bowl game.
Ohio’s No. 2 showed Tucker’s team how far they must go in Saturday’s 56-7 victory that ended all Spartan hopes of a championship.
Michigan State was highly motivated to give Tucker every reason to stay after Saban lost to LSU in November 1999.
“There was a time when Michigan had the best football and basketball coaches – Nick Saban and Tom Izzo,” Ishbia told AP. “Now we have a chance to get the best coaching duo in America again, and we’re going to pay Mel how he left.”
Tucker was a Saban graduate assistant in Michigan during the 1997 and 1978 seasons, when he made $ 400 a week and slept under a table, hoping the coach would be impressed with his dedication.
Even before the championship-level program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana announced the separation from Ed Orggeron earlier this season, Tucker was named as a candidate in part because he coached the Tiger defenders under Saban in 2000 and has had impressive track records. … resume operations in Ohio and Georgia.
Tucker’s connections with the NFL also made it likely that teams that have coaching positions in the league will try to take him out of the game this winter. Ten years ago, Tucker was 2-3 years old as an interim coach at the Jacksonville Jaguars, with whom he served as Defense Coordinator. He also played the role in his hometown of Cleveland Browns and the Chicago Bears during 10 NFL seasons.
While Tucker’s upkeep in Michigan will cost a lot, the pay raise is being provided as a gift from Ishbia and Steve St. André.
Ishbia was a quarterback on Tom Izzo’s 2000 national championship basketball team. Earlier this year, Ishbia donated $ 32 million to the development of Michigan athletics and donates $ 500 monthly to the school’s football and men’s basketball players. Saint-André is the founder and CEO of Shift Digital marketing company.
Tucker thanked both sponsors by name in a Twitter post alongside former Michigan footballers Brian Mosallam and Jason Streyhorn for their help in securing a new deal.
“This is the process of building a championship winning program,” Tucker said.
After coach Mark Dantonio retired in February 2020, Tucker more than doubled his total compensation, leaving Colorado after just one 5-7 season to sign a six-year contract worth over $ 5.5 million a year. with the state of Michigan.
Tucker didn’t have much time with his new team last year before the pandemic pushed players away from campus, and it averaged 2-5.
Thanks to an influx of transfers, including Heisman Trophy nominee running back Kenneth Walker, the Spartans have won their first eight games this season, including a second straight win over a Michigan-based rival.
“The decision to renew Mel Tucker is not based on one year’s performance, but rather an investment in the promising future of Spartan football,” said sporting director Alan Haller.
Whether the season ends with success or failure, the school and its fans don’t have to worry about losing a coach.
“Michigan is not a stepping stone, it’s a destination, and Mel knows it,” Ishbia told AP. “He didn’t want to leave, but when someone goes for broke and they are loyal, you take care of them.”