Dantonio shrugs off talk of job change
Mark Dantonio doesn’t see Michigan State as a springboard for
The Spartans’ coach brushed off the notion that he could leave
for another job.
”I see Michigan State as the destination, not a stop,” he said
Tuesday. ”It’s flattering, but that’s the way I see it.”
The No. 4 Spartans (12-1 will face No. 5 Stanford (12-1) in the
Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. It will be Michigan State’s first
appearance in the game in 26 seasons.
Dantonio is 57, and he is 63-29 with Michigan State over seven
seasons. Consistent with the stability he has built for the
program, Dantonio wants to keep his entire coaching staff
That seems much more likely since defensive coordinator Pat
Narduzzi, the 2013 Broyles Award winner as the nation’s top
assistant coach, withdrew as a candidate to become the coach at
”It’s my hope to keep our entire staff together,” Dantonio
said. ”To have Coach Narduzzi remain here is a tremendous
Narduzzi is often credited with helping the Spartans rank among
the nation’s top five defenses for three straight years. They are
ranked No. 1 overall this season.
Though the coaching carousel keeps spinning, it seems more
likely that Narduzzi will stay with the Spartans.
”Obviously, it was close,” Narduzzi said of a move to be
closer to his roots. ”I would’ve been an hour away from my
mother-in-law. And I have a great coach’s wife. She could’ve said
let’s go, instead of saying what’s the best move for you
coaching-wise. The staff I have to work with here every day is the
best in the country. I hate to break up the party we have going on
Offensive coordinator Dave Warner and quarterbacks coach Brad
Salem also drew praise from Dantonio, as did a senior class that
has won 41 games in the last four seasons.
Competing in its seventh straight bowl game, Michigan State will
concentrate on the immediate challenge and worry about next season
The Spartans will say goodbye to three All-Americans, cornerback
Darqueze Dennard and linebackers Max Bullough and Denicos Allen,
plus three starting offensive linemen. One star who said he will be
back is sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun, a third-year
player who was named the Big Ten’s top defensive lineman.
”I already know I’ll be back,” Calhoun said. ”I’m not going
anywhere. I want to be a first-team All-American. And I know I can
get better here.”