Mark Dantonio becomes second-highest paid college football coach after $4.3 million bonus hits

Michigan State University head coach Mark Dantonio.
Mark Dantonio collected a mega bonus Thursday. (Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio had 4.3 million reasons to be happy Thursday. Dantonio’s longevity bonus vested Thursday, meaning the coach received a $4.3 million bonus, according to the Detroit Free Press.

With that bonus added to his $4.4 million salary, the 63-year-old Dantonio will make about $8.7 million next season. That makes Dantonio the second-highest paid college football coach for 2020. Only Alabama’s Nick Saban makes more.

That bonus comes at a less-than-optimal time for Michigan State. While Dantonio has experienced plenty of success with the school, the Spartans have struggled lately. Over the past two seasons, the Michigan State football team has gone 14-12 and have had one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten. There were legitimate questions about whether Dantonio should return for another season.

In November, Dantonio expressed a desire to return, saying he “absolutely” expected to be back in 2020. The school’s president and athletic director have both backed Dantonio.

Thursday’s news confirms Dantonio will stick around for at least another season. Given his immense paycheck, Dantonio better figure out a way to get Michigan State turned around quickly. The school probably won’t tolerate paying that much for another mediocre season.

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