Mel Tucker extension: Details, buyout revealed for Michigan State coach
Details for Michigan State coach Mel Tucker’s new 10-year contract extension with the program were revealed on Monday.
Chris Solari from The Detroit Free Press tweeted that Tucker’s extension will pay him a full $9.5 million annual salary over the life of the contract and it’ll be fully guaranteed, meaning if the Michigan State athletic department chooses to fire him without cause, it’ll owe him the remainder of the money left on his deal at that point.
Solari also revealed the buyout info should Tucker look to leave for another job, and it’s remarkably coach-friendly.
Mel Tucker's new $95M, 10-year contract in hand. No new buyout terms in it. It's $2.5M before Jan. 15, 2022; $2M in 2023, $1.5M in 2024 and $1M in 2024 and beyond. (Initially read that $1M just as 2024, but the language is Tucker would owe that any time AFTER Jan. 16, 2024).
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) November 29, 2021
Tucker’s new contract with the Spartans comes as the program wraps the first 10-win regular-season it has enjoyed since 2015 (MSU hit 10 wins in 2017 but the 10th came in its bowl game). Tucker spearheaded a rapid turnaround in East Lansing, after just a 2-5 year to open his tenure, and it’s that immediate success (among other things) that linked him to some of the higher-profile job openings on the market this winter.
Most notably, Tucker was linked to the LSU position and the USC job before Lincoln Riley took his ball to Southern California. Interestingly, this kind of buyout owed to leave wouldn’t necessarily deter a program like LSU from trying to poach Tucker in the future if he were to have continued success with the Spartans.
But MSU also offered one other attractive piece in Tucker’s deal: an increased salary pool for assistants. According to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, Tucker will have “at least” $7.5 million to divvy up between his 10 assistant coaches. For context, the going rate for the top coordinator in the country is roughly $2.5 million.