By Ralph D. Russo, AP College Football Writer
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio says his “intentions are to be at Michigan State.” If he does, it sounds as if a big raise is coming his way.
Dantonio is reportedly a coach Texas has been considering as a possible replacement for Mack Brown. After Dantonio led the Spartans to a 24-20 victory over Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, he was asked about being linked to some high-profile positions and the possibility a new contract at Michigan State is in the works.
Dantonio said: “That’s very flattering, but it would be hard to leave these guys. So while it’s very, very flattering, my intentions are to be at Michigan State. That’s all I’ll say about those things. I’ll look forward to seeing my guys back on Monday morning for classes.”
Before the game, athletic director Mark Hollis told the Detroit Free Press in a text message that Michigan State intends to make Dantonio one of the three highest paid coaches in the Big Ten. Dantonio makes about $1.9 million per year. The highest paid coaches in the Big Ten, according to USA Today’s most recently updated data base of coaches’ salaries, are Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($4.6 million per year), Michigan’s Brady Hoke ($4.15 million) and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz ($3.985 million).
The 57-year-old Dantonio, who was born in El Paso, Texas, and played at South Carolina, is 64-29 in seven seasons with Michigan State. The Spartans (13-1) won the Big Ten outright and reached the Rose Bowl this season for the first time since 1987. Michigan State has won at least 11 games three times in the last four seasons.
Before coming to East Lansing, Mich., Dantonio got his first head coaching job at Cincinnati. He spent three seasons with the Bearcats (2004-06) and went 18-17 before returning to Michigan State, where he was defensive backs coach from 1995-2000 and worked for Nick Saban.
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