Dantonio retires as MSU football coach after 13 seasons

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Michigan State University head football coach Mark Dantonio has decided to retire on Tuesday. He elects to retire after the entire coaching circle was already filled with candidates.

He was the Spartans head coach for the last 13 seasons. On an interim basis, he will be replaced by Mike Tressel.

Mark Dantonio (Getty Images)

Before this new appointment, Tressel was the Spartans assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, and linebackers coach. His coaching bloodline runs deep, as his father, grandfather, and uncle were all successful coaches.

“Today marks one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever made here at Michigan State,” Dantonio said. “I would first like to thank our fans, alumni, and our administration; both past and present staff and especially our current and past players and coaches for all their support, hard work and dedication over these past 13 years. You have truly helped make my dreams come true.

“Every February since 2007, I have reset this program in preparation for the next year’s challenges. After much reflection and discussion with my family, I feel that it is now time for change as we enter into a new decade of Michigan State Football. I have told our players on many occasions that ‘Michigan State is bigger than any one person. Someday there will be someone else here talking to you from this podium.’ That day has come.”

He retired less than one month after receiving a bonus from Michigan State. In fact, it was 20 days after he received the $4.3 million bonus on Jan. 15, 2020.

The 63-year-old went 115-57 with the Spartans. He departs after back-to-back 7-6 seasons.

His best record at the school came in 13-1 in 2013.

As a college football head coach, he went 133-74 as a head coach. Dantonio went 18-17 with the Cincinnati Bearcats.

“There have been so many amazing life moments in the last 13 years, ” Dantonio said of his MSU experience. ”When I reflect, I think of our Big Ten Championship games, our Big Ten Championships, the big games, the playoffs, the bowl wins, the moments, the milestones, the graduates, the NFL opportunities and finally, and perhaps most importantly, the relationships made. This job has always been a 24/7, 365 day-a-year position. There is no down time and it is filled with the demands and challenges of managing games, players, coaches, recruits, donors, staff, media, an enthusiastic fan base and competition at the very highest level. I will miss it all but feel the sacrifices that I have made away from my family must now become my priority at this time in my life.

“My plan is to stay on within the university and athletic department in a role involving special projects, especially transitioning our players, both current and incoming, to their next challenges. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve as the head football coach at Michigan State University. I will forever be a Spartan.”

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