Mark & Becky Dantonio Reward Entire Football Staff With Mexican Vacation!

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Due to neglect from the administration, the MSU football total coaches salaries in 2011 was #11 in the Big Ten out of 12 schools. It was preposterous. In this off-season Spartan Nation broke the stories that both coordinators turned down much bigger paydays to stay in East Lansing.

Due to the fans resounding demand and contacting the administration, Mark Hollis was finally told to go ahead and money was allocated to give the staff much-deserved raises. Make no mistake that it was you the fans who forced the hand of the administration. 

The administration was using the salary freeze in the academic arena of the school to hold back the totally separate entity of athletics. Remember that athletics is a stand-alone entity separate from the University general fund.

The administration has NO BUSINESS interfering with Mark Hollis and the pay situations. They are there for oversight and not as dictators of political pawns. As long as Hollis wins, balances the budget and runs a clean program he should be left alone and not micromanaged by the administration above him that sees everything as a political football.   

That money was earned and foolishly withheld while the administration played politics. Make NO mistake, it was the MSU administration that wouldn’t let Mark Hollis, MSU AD, give the raises. It was NOT his choice.

There is no doubt that the staff could have left. I can tell you that they didn’t stay because of the administration. They did stay because of a deep devotion and respect for Mark Dantonio and Mark Hollis.

So why did the coaches stay? Spartan Nation has told you many times since Dantonio arrived about the family atmosphere inside MSU football. It is common to see the children and spouses of coaches in the building. 

Most head coaches keep their staff locked away from the world, including their families. It is sad and a big reason so many in the business of college football struggle. Dantonio wants his staff to be great fathers and husbands as role models for his players. He demonstrates it, by his own actions in how he handles those that work for him.

In February Dantonio once again proved that inside his program family isn’t a word thrown around, it is an action. Dantonio and his wife Becky sent every member of the staff including medical and other ancillary staff to Mexico for an all expense paid trip for them and their spouse.

It was something done not to get attention or to make people talk about how generous the Dantonio’s are. It is who the Dantonio’s are. In 2008 Dantonio told Spartan Nation in an interview about his style, “We first have to be givers. Not takers. I want my players to realize that you can’t go through life being a taker; I want to be a giver. We have a great example about giving in what Jesus Christ did for us.”

He has proven that, as has his lovely wife Becky, by the way they have embraced the community, but even more their staff. One MSU staff member told me, “What an amazing gift from Coach D and Becky. It was a great time and no matter what his salary is, how many actually pay for a trip like that for so many. That is how they live. They are some of the most decent and kind people I know.”

So as you hear about coaches turning down jobs and choosing to stay with MSU football, remember that it is actions like sending the staff on all expense paid trips that solidifies that family atmosphere. Dantonio is demanding, but he is also giving. He loves the mantra that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and it is something he lives by.

Mark Dantonio wants his coaches to be devoted fathers and husbands. He wants his players to be able to see their coaches and their families as examples. The Dantonio's live it.

I can imagine while the staff was relaxing on the warm beaches of Mexico, it did a lot for a family and morale when they got back to MSU. A classy move no doubt, by a class coach and the first lady of Spartan football.

As thankful as the Spartan Nation should be that both Roushar and Narduzzi spurned bigger money to stay at MSU, the best news each fall is that Dantonio is back. He and Becky are proving nice people can and do finish first.