Mark Dantonio gets new contract
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio has received a new contract designed to keep him a "Spartan for life."
The new deal maintains a five-year rollover clause for Dantonio, who is in his fifth year as coach and last season guided Michigan State to a team-record 11 victories and a share of the Big Ten title for the first time in 20 years. Dantonio's base salary increases from $618,000 to $650,000, and his new contract includes performance incentives such as a $100,000 bonus for winning the Big Ten championship game.
Dantonio's $2 million contingent bonus has been moved from 2016 to 2014, and the contract includes a position for him in Michigan State's athletic department for two years after he retires from coaching. The buyout provisions of Dantonio's contract also have been modified. A source familiar with the contract told ESPN.com the buyout is in the neighborhood of $3.5 million.
"This agreement doesn't mark a significant increase in compensation; rather it provides security and comfort for the Dantonio family," athletic director Mark Hollis said in a prepared statement. "It also provides East Lansing and Michigan State University with people of great character and integrity. (Men's basketball coach) Tom Izzo coined the phrase, 'A Spartan for Life.' The membership and commitment to that special club has just increased by one, coach Mark Dantonio and his family."
Dantonio's contract is similar to the one Izzo received after being pursued by the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. It increases Dantonio's annual compensation from $1.8 million to $1.83 million.
Dantonio, 55, is 37-20 at Michigan State, guiding the Spartans to bowl appearances in each of his first four seasons. He also received a revised contract in December 2008, days before the Spartans played Georgia in the Capital One Bowl.
"The university has certainly made a commitment to provide all of the necessary tools to continue to build and sustain a championship-caliber program, and I've made a long-term commitment to be the head coach at Michigan State," Dantonio said in a prepared statement. "This new contract expresses the loyalty that I have to our current student-athletes and their families and sends a clear message to current and future recruits that I will be their head coach at Michigan State. It also lets Spartan Nation know that I deeply appreciate their loyal support and that I'm here for the long haul."
Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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