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Monday, December 30, 2013
Progress made on raises for MSU coaches

By Adam Rittenberg

LOS ANGELES -- Documents have yet to be drafted and pens haven't quiet made their way to paper, but Michigan State fans can feel good about the future of their football coaching staff.

Athletic director Mark Hollis on Monday reiterated that discussions about raises for coach Mark Dantonio and his assistants remain in a very good place. Hollis and Dantonio have had several discussions, and agreements could be finalized shortly after the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO. Dantonio, arguably the nation's top coaching bargain with a salary of $1.96 million this year, will receive a $2 million longevity bonus in January as well as a bump in salary going forward. Dantonio, one of only a few major-conference coaches who doesn't have an agent, has given every indication he will return to MSU for an eighth season (and many more).

"We've verbalized where we want to be with the entire staff, with the coordinators, with the assistant coaches and with Mark," Hollis said. "Those numbers ensure continuity if the choice of the coaches are to remain at Michigan State. We've stepped forward. I get concerned sometimes about where we're going with coaches' salaries as an industry, but at the same time, as a coach, you need to ensure that continuity is in place."

Hollis added that the worst thing that can happen to a program is losing a coach after becoming wrapped up in "short-term thinking." He's completely in line with Dantonio regarding staff continuity.

Dantonio has had only four assistants depart since arriving at Michigan State in 2007 -- two for college head-coaching positions (Dan Enos and Don Treadwell) and one for an NFL coordinator job (Dan Roushar). Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was a prime candidate for the head-coaching vacancy at Connecticut but intends on staying at MSU. Other assistants like secondary coach Harlon Barnett, quarterbacks coach Brad Salem and linebackers/special teams coach Mike Tressel could be targeted for other jobs.

Michigan State has examined the coaching salary market, both within the Big Ten and nationally, to determine potential raises.

"We're getting down more into the smaller details," Hollis said. "When you get down to it, it's, 'What am I being paid and how safe do I feel being the coach here?' Those are the two pieces we're trying to put together.

"We're very comfortable where the basic components of compensation for our staff are, in order to ensure continuity."