With the Michigan State offense struggling to find the end zone during the final games of their 2018 campaign, Mark Dantonio needed to do something. Instead of wholesale changes though, Dantonio opted to shuffle duties among his current coaches, most of which had been with him since arriving in East Lansing.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Brad Salem’s move from quarterbacks coach to running backs and his promotion to offensive coordinator came with a nearly 30% raise from just over $400k to nearly $518k. Salem was the only offensive coach to receive a pay bump this off season while Dave Warner ($517k) moves from running backs coach and offensive coordinator to quarterbacks, Jim Bollman ($498k) moves from tight ends and co-offensive coordinator to coaching the offensive line, Mark Staten ($402k) moves from offensive line to tight ends, and wide receivers coach Terrance Samuel ($388k) will move to assistant defensive backs coach while Don Treadwell ($319k) moves into the wide receivers coaching role.

The Free Press also points out that all the assistants on the defensive side of the ball, where the Spartans were once again one of college football’s best defenses in defensive coordinator Mike Tressel’s first year with the defensive coordinator title (after sharing it the past several seasons), received pay raises.

Here are the details on those:


Defensive Staff

Name Position 2019 Salary (% raise from 2018)
Mike Tressel Defensive Coordinator $667,385 (16.6%)
Chuck Bullough Defensive Ends $387,693 (10%)
Ron Burton Defensive Tackles $424,616 (9.5%)
Paul Haynes Secondary $415,385 (9.8%)

 

You could certainly make an argument that even with the raise, Tressel is one of the best bargain’s among college football’s coordinators at $667k annually. The top defenses at the Power Five level last season in points allowed per game were led by:

  • #1 – Clemson’s Brent Venables who is pulling in $11.6 million on a five-year deal last signed last year
  • #2 – Mississippi State’s Bob Shoop made $400k last year, but is due $600k the next two seasons
  • #5 Washington’s Jimmy Lake whose salary jumped from $650k in 2017 to $1.1 million in 2018 and is set to become the highest paid assistant in the Pac-12 with an extension and raise in the works
  • #6 – Kentucky’s Matt House who is set to make $650k through the 2019 season on a deal he signed back in 2017

Another year or two putting together strong defensive numbers nationally could mean Tressel works his way into the $1 million per year coordinator territory.

The report adds that Dantonio’s contract added another year back in February as part of his annual rollover contract, and he’s now theoretically locked in at Michigan State through 2025.

Head here to read the full article, including comments from Spartan athletic director Bill Beekman.