Michigan State’s athletic department may be working on a contract extension for head football coach Mel Tucker, according to radio hosts Mike Valenti and Rico Beard.
Valenti and Beard host The Valenti Show with Rico on 97.1 The Ticket, and both have ties to the university that go back several years.
“I have sources who said it appears that Mel Tucker is going to be getting a contract extension with money around $6.8 to $7.8 million (per year) with escalators and bonuses that could take him up even higher,” Beard said on today’s show, adding that these reports are “unconfirmed”.
At $6.8 million, Tucker would be the ninth-highest paid coach in the country and equal Ohio State’s Ryan Day as the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten.
It comes at no surprise that Michigan State would be doing their utmost to incentivize Tucker to remain in East Lansing, given the success he’s had on the field this season.
As the Spartans piled up victories this season, Tucker's name came up as a primary candidate for the head coaching job at LSU, who will move on from current coach Ed Orgeron at the end of this season.
Tucker has compiled a 10-6 record through the COVID-shortened 2020 season and nine games into the 2021 campaign. The Spartans have climbed as high as No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings under Tucker, and currently hold the No. 7 spot.
In addition, Tucker is 2-0 against rival Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh.
“Mel Tucker’s about to secure the bag,” Valenti said. “Long-term extension, $6.8 million with incentives to take him to $8 million. It firmly puts him in the Top 8 highest-paid coaches. It gets him Ryan Day money. Both Rico and I have heard the same things. This is not new. They’ve been working on this for weeks.”
If this rumor comes to fruition, it would be a big win both for Michigan State and for Tucker. The university would stave off outside programs trying to poach its ascending head coach, and Tucker would find himself amongst the top-paid coaches in the sport.
The Spartans (8-1, 5-1) host Maryland this weekend, seeking to rebound from its lone loss of the season thus far.