In three seasons from 2013 to '15, Mark Dantonio won 36 of 41 games and two Big Ten championships. He got to major bowl games in three consecutive seasons and earned wins in the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl.
On Feb. 19, 2016, Michigan State announced it had reached agreement with Dantonio on a new version of his six-year, rollover contract that included a more than $600,000 raise in his annual pay to $4.3 million.
It also included the prospect of one of the largest one-time lump-sum bonuses in college football: a $4.3 million payment “in recognition of his long-service to the University” if he remained the Spartans’ coach through Jan. 15, 2020.
“Michigan State’s football brand has never been stronger,” then-athletic director Mark Hollis said in a statement at the time. “We’re so excited about the future of our football program under Mark’s leadership and direction.”
Dantonio, in a statement, added: “Over the last three years, we have competed as one of the elite teams in the country. Our student-athletes have embraced this distinction as well as the expectations that accompany it. We will continue to dream big.”