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Friday, May 25, 2012
Raises awarded to Narduzzi, Spartans staff

By Adam Rittenberg

Coaching changes defined the Big Ten's offseason, but one of the most significant moves in the league was made to keep a key assistant in place.

Michigan State retained defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi after he turned down a lucrative opportunity to go to Texas A&M in the same role. Narduzzi, who earned $233,000 last year, would receive a substantial raise to stay in East Lansing.

That raise is now known, as the Detroit Free Press first reported. Narduzzi will be paid $500,000, more than doubling his previous salary. All of Mark Dantonio's assistants received salary increases following a season where the Spartans won the Legends Division title and the Outback Bowl, and recorded 11 victories for the second consecutive season.

As expected, Narduzzi received the biggest increase ($267,000), although his salary ranks behind several Big Ten assistants, including Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell ($750,000) and Michigan coordinators Greg Mattison ($750,000) and Al Borges ($650,000). Given Narduzzi's success the past few seasons, his compensation seems reasonable, given the market.
"I think coach Narduzzi's going to be a head coach," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said Thursday. "I think coach Narduzzi believes in this program. What we did is we sat down and said, 'Here's a compensation that gets you in the frame, but also an opportunity for you to achieve what you really want to achieve, which is a head-coaching position.' He and some of the other [assistant] positions were very far off from the norm, and now I believe they're in the norm."

Some of the other reported raises include a $75,000 bump for offensive coordinator Dan Roushar from $230,000 to $305,000; $33,000 raises for secondary coach Harlon Barnett and linebackers/secondary coach Mike Tressel, from $170,000 to $203,000; and $30,000 raises for offensive line coach Mark Staten and running backs coach Brad Salem from $170,000 to $200,000.

Dantonio often credits Michigan State's success to staff continuity. The only assistants who have left the program in his tenure -- Don Treadwell and Dan Enos -- did so for FBS head-coaching positions elsewhere.

Narduzzi's time will come soon, but Michigan State took an important step by keeping its top assistant in East Lansing for another year.