Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker is about to become the highest-paid Black head coach in American sports. According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan State is preparing a $95 million, 10-year contract extension for Tucker. If the deal gets done, Tucker would also become the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten Conference, as mentioned by Sports Illustrated.
Currently, the highest-paid Black head coach in American sports is David Shaw of Stanford who makes $8.9 million. He is followed by Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers ($8 million) and Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers ($8 million). It's reported that Michigan State alum Steve St. Andre and Mat Ishbia, who walked onto the Spartans' 2000 national championship basketball team, are private donors who are funding the extension.
Tucker recently appeared on The Draymond Green Show with Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green. He talked about how he wanted to build something big with the Spartans. "I made it clear in my initial press conferences that I thought Michigan State was a destination job and not a stepping stone," Tucker said per ESPN. "It was never my intention to come here and just pass through. I believe that we're building something special here. I have tremendous support here to do that, and we're on the right track."
Tucker, 49, was hired by Michigan State last year after spending one season as the head coach at Colorado. After a 2-5 season in 2020, Tucker has turned things around in a big way as the Spartans are now 9-1 and have a chance to win the Big Ten Championship. Tucker won two national championships as an assistant coach at Ohio State and Alabama. He also spent time in the NFL as an assistant coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears.
"This is a team that is not entitled," Tucker said after the team's win last weekend, per 247 Sports. "Everything we've got to this point we've earned, we've had to take and that's what we'll continue to have to do. We're gonna have to earn it, and we're gonna have to work extremely hard and continue to play with great effort, mental and physical toughness."