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Mel Tucker, Michigan State Finalize Reportedly Historic Contract Extension

Michigan State and head football coach Mel Tucker have finalized a contract extension, Tucker confirmed in a tweet Wednesday night.

Yahoo Sports's Pete Thamel was the first to report the two nearing an agreement, while The Athletic's Bruce Feldman reporting soon after that the deal is done.

Rumblings of the new contract started over a week ago when the Detroit Free Press reported that the school was preparing a 10-year, $95 million extension, which would make Tucker the highest-paid Black head coach in American sports at the top of a tier with Stanford's David Shaw ($8.9 million), the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin ($8 million) and the 76ers Doc Rivers ($8 million).

If for the reported amount, the agreement would also make the 49-year-old the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten, surpassing Penn State’s James Franklin's newly agreed upon $7 million salary, according to the USA TODAY salary database.

The question that came to the forefront was who would pay for this agreement, and according to the Detroit Free Press's report from a week ago, it would be two deep-pocketed alumni—Mat Ishbia and Steve St. Andre. However, on Wednesday night, two more names were added to the mix for a total of four who helped get the deal done—Brian Mosallam and Jason Strayhorn, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg

Ishbia graduated from Michigan State in 2003 and was a walk-on member of the school's 2000 national championship men's basketball team. He is the president and CEO of mortgage lender United Wholesale Mortgage, a company founded in 1986 by his father. Ishbia has a net worth of $6.7 billion, according to Forbes

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St. Andre received his undergraduate degree in marketing from Michigan State and his MBA from Michigan in 2004. He is the founder and CEO of Shift Digital, a marketing firm that creates websites and other digital tools for clients.

Mosallam is a Michigan State University Board of Trustee Emeritus and the President of Spartan Wealth Management. He played for the MSU football team from 1992 through 1996, and graduated cum laude with an engineering arts degree. 

Strayhorn is a current Michigan State Board of Education Member, but is also a licensed real estate broker, real estate developer, entrepreneur and consultant. He co-hosts Inside the Locker Room, a sports podcast, with Mosallam. 

Tucker has revived the Spartans' football program, leading them to No. 12 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. After a lopsided loss to Ohio State last weekend when the Buckeyes jumped out to a 49-0 halftime lead, the coach was honest with fans, posting the following message on Twitter

"We win as a team & we lose as a team. We will identify where the breakdowns were and why. And then we'll own that, there's no excuses and there's no finger pointing. We have to be accountable to ourselves and our teammates and that's who we are as a team. #KeepChoppin"

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