Mel Tucker to sign long-term extension with MSU: 'Ryan Day money'


Mel Tucker isn't going anywhere.

Amid rumors that Michigan State's football coach could bolt for LSU, Rico Beard reported Thursday on 97.1 The Ticket that it appears Tucker is signing a long-term extension with the Spartans that could pay him up to $8 million per year.

"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," said Beard, adding that the news is "unconfirmed."

Live On-Air
Ninety Seven One The Ticket
97.1 The Ticket
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

Tucker currently makes $5 million per year. With a bump to $6.8 million, he would become the ninth highest-paid coach in the country between Ohio State's Ryan Day ($6.8 million) and Georgia's Kirby Smart ($7.1 million), according to USA Today.

Tucker, 49, took over a sputtering program from Mark Dantonio after the 2019 season and has the Spartans back in the national conversation two years later. Michigan State won its first eight games this season, including a 37-33 thriller over Michigan in East Lansing, and debuted at No. 3 in the College Football Playoff Rankings. The Spartans are currently No. 7 after a loss to Purdue.

Tucker's success fueled speculation that he would leave for more money at LSU, a la Nick Saban in 1999, after the Tigers announced they would be parting ways with head coach Ed Orgeron. But Michigan State has apparently convinced him to stay.

"Mel Tucker’s about to secure the bag," said Mike Valenti, corroborating Beard's report. "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."

Beard said it's unclear when Michigan State plans to announce the news. The Spartans host Maryland Saturday before colliding with No. 6 Ohio State next weekend in Columbus.