We’re just a couple of days removed from Jonathan Smith’s introductory press conference as the 26th Michigan State football coach in program history and the contract details have been made public.
According to Alan Haller, the Spartans will be paying Smith $7.25 million in year one with a gradual increase each season as well as incentives for making bowl games, making the playoff, and having a high graduation rate. From all accounts, this seems like a good deal for Michigan State.
Plus, Smith is making over $2 million more per year with Michigan State than he did with Oregon State. This was the raise he was looking for.
Michigan State paid Mel Tucker $9.5 million per year so this feels like a bargain.
Did the Spartans get a good deal?
Did Michigan State football get a good deal for Smith?
When you look at the salaries of the other Big Ten football coaches, it feels like the Spartans made the deal of the century. Smith is in the middle of the pack in terms of the salaries of current Big Ten coaches.
- Lincoln Riley ($11 million)
- Ryan Day ($10.2 million)
- James Franklin ($8.5 million)
- Jim Harbaugh ($8.2 million)
- Luke Fickell ($7.6 million)
- Jonathan Smith ($7.25)
Right behind Smith as Kirk Ferents ($7 million) and Dan Lanning ($7 million). I feel like Lanning is obviously underpaid for leading a playoff contender every year, but Smith’s Oregon State teams have played Oregon tough over the past few years (outside of this season).
This is a very fair salary for the new Spartan head coach considering he was listed as an A+ hire by Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports and he might end up being the best of this coaching carousel.
Heck, he led an Oregon State program with two 10-plus-win seasons in program history to its third just a handful of years after taking over. That’s impressive. He’s a winner.
Did Michigan State get a good deal? Absolutely.