Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio retires
Earlier this week, Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio shocked the college football world with his abrupt retirement, just one day before National Signing Day.
In his 13 years with the Spartans, Dantonio became the school’s all-time leader in wins, composing a 114-57 record. His teams made bowl games in 12 seasons, won 3 Big Ten championships, and had a college football playoff appearance in 2015-16.
Few have had the success Dantonio had in East Lansing, taking a struggling program to elite heights with “lesser” recruiting classes. The team won 8 out of his 13 games against arch-rival Michigan, which included breaking an 18 year drought in Ann Arbor. He built a blue-collar program that was able to compete with the likes of Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Georgia, ushering in the greatest era of Spartan football since the 1960s.
Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell has been rumored among several replacement candidates.
I know journalism is supposed to be “unbiased” and “impartial,” but as a Spartan alum, this hits home and hits hard. This is the coach who turned the program I grew up watching and dreaming of playing for to a level I never could have imagined. He put Spartan football on the national map.
After letting it soak in and reflecting, there is just one conclusion: it was time. It just was. Since the playoff appearance, the team has struggled in 3 of 4 seasons. They need a new voice and a direction. Bring in someone to move the program back to the days of 2010-2015 and beyond.
To us, Coach Dantonio will always hold a special place. He is a legend in every sense and we could not appreciate his work more. Goodbye coach, thanks for the memories and building a program we could be proud of–at least for a little while. Go Green!