LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Once the ‘Mel Tucker to LSU’ rumors started to swirl, Michigan State has made it a high priority to keep Tucker in East Lansing.
The university has been preparing a new contract that would make him the second-highest paid college football coach in the country at $9.5 million per year. The only other coach in front of him would be his mentor, Nick Saban, at Alabama ($9.75 million).
Tucker’s contract extension is expected to be a 10-year deal, worth $95 million. One of the major donors who is expected to fund the new deal is former MSU men’s basketball player Mat Ishbia, sources at MSU confirmed to 6 Sports Director Audrey Dahlgren.
Ishbia is the current chairman, president, and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, the largest wholesale mortgage company in the nation for six years running.
In February of this year, Ishbia made the largest single cash commitment from an individual in MSU’s history by gifting the university $32 million dollars to improve its athletic programs with the largest portion of the commitment going to football.
Ishbia designated $20 million of the $32 million to be football-focused, providing resources to construct an expansion of the Skandalaris Football Center.
Some of those expansions reportedly include improving the football auditorium, expanding the weight room, creating new player lockers, informal meeting spaces, and recovery modalities, as well as a dining and nutrition area.
Ishbia’s donation in February is completely separate from the money he is expected to put towards Tucker’s new contract.
Sources at MSU have also confirmed that the goal is to try and get Tucker’s new deal finalized this week.
Tucker is in his second year at the helm for the Spartans and has has an 11-6 record, including a marquee 37-33 victory over the University of Michigan.
The Spartans are currently ranked No. 7 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
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