Hollis to Stay at MSU as AD

It’s amazing what a few winning seasons and an honor received from a National Magazine will do for a man’s career.   Mark Hollis of Michigan State is finding that out.

Last month, Sports Business Journal named Hollis the top athletic director in the country.  Hollis has reigned over a sports program that has one of the top basketball and hockey programs in the country.  Meanwhile the football program under Mark Dantonio is fast becoming one of the best not only in the Big Ten, but in college football period.

Because of all this, Hollis was awarded a new contract Monday that could double his current salary and renew every year.  His base pay increased from $395,000 per year to $600,000 annually. In addition, he’ll be eligible for a $100,000 longevity bonus every July.  This is the kind of contact the Spartan brass hope will mean Hollis will never leave.

Hollis has been creative during his tenure with the Spartans.  Many don’t know, but he was the mind behind an outdoor hockey game against Michigan and last year’s men’s basketball game on a U.S. aircraft carrier against North Carolina.  Both brought in record crowds and led to others using the same ideas to bolster lower economic based programs.

Hollis inherited basketball coach Tom Izzo when he became AD, however he should be credited with keeping Izzo when the Cleveland Cavaliers knocked on his door two years ago and made overtures that almost led to Izzo leaving the school.  Hollis also should be commended for hiring Dantonio, who has led the turn-around of the football program since being hired in 2007.  Dantonio has led the Spartans to a pair of consecutive 11 win seasons, and expectations are high for 2012.

Hollis’ original deal ran through 2016. Now, it will rollover into a new five-year deal every July 1. That deal is similar to the one Michigan State has with Izzo.   Now the school is hoping Hollis will show them the same loyalty Izzo has.

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