Year-by-year salaries of Spartans head football coaches since 2012

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College football head coaching salaries have skyrocketed in recent years as the arms race among the nation’s top programs has escalated rapidly.

The Michigan State Spartans are no exception. MSU has compiled a record of 83-42 over its past 10 seasons, but that success doesn’t come cheap.

In fact, the Spartans paid Mel Tucker in 2021 nearly three times what predecessor Mark Dantonio earned back in 2012.

To get an idea of how rapidly coaching salaries are rising, Spartans Wire lists the annual compensation paid out to Michigan State head football coaches over the past decade below.

[Source: USA TODAY college football coaching salary database; figures do not include income from non-university sources, incentive bonuses or the value of perks and benefits.]

2012 - Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio
Mark Dantonio

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio watches the action during a game against Central Michigan at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant on Sept. 8, 2012. (Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $1,934,250

Final record: 7-6

Postseason: Won Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl over TCU, 17-16

2013 - Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio
Mark Dantonio

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio directs players during the Big Ten Championship Game against Ohio State at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Dec. 7, 2013. (Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $1,959,744

Final record: 13-1

Postseason: Won Big Ten Championship Game over Ohio State, 34-24

Won Rose Bowl over Stanford, 24-20

2014 - Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio
Mark Dantonio

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio prepares to lead his team onto the field before a game against Penn State at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 29, 2014. (Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $5,611,845 (includes $2 million retention payment)

Final record: 11-2

Postseason: Won Cotton Bowl over Baylor, 42-41

2015 - Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio
Mark Dantonio

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio leads his team onto the field prior to a game against Penn State at Spartan Stadium on Nov. 28, 2015. (Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $3,671,520

Final record: 12-2

Postseason: Won Big Ten Championship Game over Iowa, 16-13

Lost Cotton Bowl (CFP semifinal) to Alabama, 38-0

2016 - Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio
Mark Dantonio

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio stands on the sideline during a game against Rutgers at Spartan Stadium on Nov. 12, 2016. (Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $4,300,000

Final record: 3-9

Postseason: none

2017 - Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio
Mark Dantonio

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio stands on the field during a game against Maryland at Spartan Stadium on Nov. 18, 2017. (Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $4,380,492

Final record: 10-3

Postseason: Won Holiday Bowl over Washington State, 42-17

2018 - Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio
Mark Dantonio

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio looks down the sideline during a game against Maryland in College Park, Maryland, on Nov. 3, 2018. (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $4,390,417

Final record: 7-6

Postseason: Lost Redbox Bowl to Oregon, 7-6

2019 - Mark Dantonio

Mark Dantonio
Mark Dantonio

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio speaks to an official during a game against Michigan at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Nov. 16, 2019. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $4,399,437

Final record: 7-6

Postseason: Won Pinstripe Bowl over Wake Forest, 27-21

2020 - Mel Tucker

Mel Tucker
Mel Tucker

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker speaks to an official during a game against Michigan at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Oct. 31, 2020. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $4,957,250 (includes pandemic pay reduction of $99,750)

Final record: 2-5

Postseason: none

2021 - Mel Tucker

Mel Tucker
Mel Tucker

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker yells from the sideline during the Peach Bowl against Pittsburgh at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Dec. 30, 2021. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Pay from university: $5,466,303 (includes pandemic pay reduction of $166,250)

Final record: 11-2

Postseason: Won Peach Bowl over Pittsburgh, 31-21

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