Michigan State University (MSU) and Head Football Coach Mel Tucker are reportedly closing in on a groundbreaking deal, a deal that would not only make him the highest-paid Big Ten football coach but also cement Mel Tucker as the highest-paid Black head coach in sports.
Tucker is currently in his second year of a contract signed with MSU back in February of 2020, where he is earning $5.56 million per year. Despite being in the early stages of the agreement, the new negotiations follow after Tucker’s name has been in the basket for a slew of coaching vacancies at other institutions. Most recently a position at Louisiana State University, which would become available by the end of this season as current head coach, Ed Orgeron’s contract has been terminated for undisclosed reasons.
Michigan State seems to be making it clear that they want Tucker for the long term with a reported deal that will grant the Cleveland native $95 million over 10 years, according to an undisclosed source who has close ties with the negotiations, The Detroit News reports.
MSU board member Rema Vassar told the outlet that Tucker is “a gift to our school,” but could not confirm the arrangements of the reported deal, stating the negotiations are still in the works.
“He’s a veritable magician,” Vassar said, according to The Detroit News. “He’s come through, and we have seen unprecedented increases in student applications after his wins. He has rejuvenated us, our alumni and donors. He brought us back from COVID and united us.”
“We want to keep the momentum going.”
The new contract for Tucker’s compensation package will be made possible with private funding from former alumni. The reported donors are United Wholesale Mortgage President and CEO Mat Ishbia and CEO of Shift Digital, Steve St. Andre, according to “Inside the Locker Room” podcast hosts Brian Mosallam and two University sources, The Detroit News Reports.
The contract is said to have been under negotiations for several weeks, and an announcement is said to be made by Thursday, Nov. 18, to confirm speculations.