March 7, 2014 6:20:52 PM
STARKVILLE - According to Mississippi State football officials, the university and head coach Dan Mullen are in the preliminary stages of getting him back to the state-mandated four-year contract.
This is an annual occurrence for the MSU program as Mullen has received the one-year bump every year since his first season in 2009.
Earlier Friday afternoon, CBSSports.com reported according to unnamed sources the extension for the 2017-18 academic calendar year was agreed to in principle but MSU football spokesperson Bill Martin confirmed to The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog that "we have nothing to report" on the issue.
Over the last two months, the state of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning board meeting minutes haven't put in the agenda a vote over the contract extension for Mullen, which is required before the proposal becomes official.
According to USA Today, Mullen made $2.7 million last year. MSU finished the 2013 season with a 7-6 record after three straight victories including a 44-7 victory in the 2013 Liberty Bowl against Rice. Mullen has taken the Bulldogs to a school-record four-straight bowl games and won the in-state rival game against Ole Miss four of his five years at MSU.
Beyond those 16 starters, the Bulldogs have three one-time starters who missed the game from injury and will be back for next season.
"You guys should know by now our expectations are to find a way to win the SEC West and represent Mississippi State and the whole state in Atlanta," Mullen said after the Liberty Bowl victory. "I think we embrace those high expectations as a program. I know our players do. We're gonna make sure we work to meet them."
Mullen, who has been consistent in each of his five years at MSU saying he always "has a young team" had to acknowledge after the bowl victory that the 2014 roster will have a lot of upperclassmen that are experienced in the Bulldogs system.
"Will we have a old team? Geez, well no but I think we're excited about the possibilities of our senior leadership and veterans," Mullen said. "I suppose that's fair to say."
MSU defensive coordinator Geoff Collins and MSU agreed on a two-year extension on Jan. 21 to keep him in Starkville with a sizable financial raise. Collins is the first MSU assistant coach in the five years since Dan Mullen was named head coach to receive a contract renegotiation.
"Geoff is one of the bright defensive minds in all of college football," Mullen said in a university release. "We as a staff and I know our players are excited about his extension. We are building something special here at Mississippi State, and he understands what it means to be a part of the Bulldog family. He continues to raise expectations for our team defensively and is also a tremendous recruiter."
MSU officials confirmed the details of Collins' new deal are a annual salary of $575,000 for the 2014 season and $625,000 in 2015. According to USA Today, the figure in the final year of the new contract would currently make Collins the seventh highest paid defensive coordinator in the SEC.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
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