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B1G 2012 // Michigan State's Smartest Guys in the Room

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It's seems with every additional accolade that Coach Dantonio, his staff or players receive that we are able to put the recent dark ages of Bobby Williams and John L. Smith further behind us. If not for the internet and the seeming ability for every gaffe to make either a Sports Center highlight, you tube video or GIF, BobbyJOHNL would have drifted out of our consciousness that much sooner. At this point five years in, the decision to hire Mark Dantonio should be considered an unqualified success. I don't quite remember who Coach Dantonio was up against in the selection process (Odious, purple-faced, death merchant Brian Kelly comes to mind) but clearly MSU got the right guy with this hire.

The Head Coach - Mark Dantonio

In Coach Dantonio's five seasons at the helm he has accomplished something no other Spartan Coach in History has (back to back 11 win seasons) and some things that haven't been done by MSU football teams in quite a long time...wins at Happy Valley (1966) Iowa City (1987) and Columbus (1998) and a four game win streak against UM (last time 1959-62). He has, twice in his short tenure held all four of our rivalry trophies (The Paul Bunyan Trophy, Megaphone, Brass Spittoon, and the monstrous Land Grant Trophy), and in only one season has he ended the season possessing less than three of them.

I have been fortunate to meet Mark Dantonio twice. The first time was after they announced the hire. The Spartan faithful had been up in arms after the tenure of BobbyJOHNL and the Athletic department sponsored a meet and greet tour with the larger nationwide alumni groups. I met Bobby Williams, I interacted with Nick Saban while in school. None of them got it like Coach Dantonio. He may not be a Spartan "by birth" but he gets it, what the school, what the athletic program means to us in a way that the others didn't. He is also a genuinely nice person. Warm heated and caring. I'm not drinking the Flavor-aid when I say that I believe him when he speaks about his team being a family.

I'm glad that Mark Dantonio is head coach of the MSU football team. I'm happy to hear him state he wants to retire a Spartan just like Coach Izzo.


"When we're there I think everyone will know we’re there."

Dantonio has taken a moribund Spartan program to great heights. It remains to be seen how long this run will last, but this quote neatly sums up the patience he has to build and maintain the MSU football program. You won't hear him screaming about how "we were disrespected" or how "great we are." He understands conference and national respect are a process. He will set lofty, but attainable goals and won't apologize for it, even if douchey, frat bag a-hole coaches mock him for his and his team's goals.

Twitter Trend:

I joined twitter just for this article. It doesn't appear that the Spartan Coaches have/use individual twitter accounts but instead share the handle @MSU_Football. It looks like the coaches post there when they have something to say. I tweeted @MSU_Football and asked for a shout out to the OTE but have not received anything yet.

The Coordinators

Dan Roushar

Dan Roushar - Offensive Coordinator

Roushar is a career assistant, most recently coaching the offensive line at MSU before being elevated to the OC job upon Don Treadwell's move to assume the HC position at his alma mater, MIami (OH) before this past season.

He's formerly been an OC at Butler (89-92), Testicle Tech Ball State (1994), Northern Illinois (98-02) and Illinois (2004), so he's not a novice at the job. He joined Dantonio in Cincinnati in 2005 and followed him here when Coach D took over for the 2007 season.


As mentioned above the coaches us @MSU_Football seen here:

Dan Roushar: MSU completed its fourth of 15 allotted spring practices on Tuesday - its first in full pads.

O/U on years that it will take to be a head coach: 172. Seriously, this guy is immortal. He's just biding his time. No. He's been an assistant for 28 years without ever taking the reigns. He'll stick around until a staff change or until like Oscar Madison he is asked to leave his place of residence, "never to return."

Pat Narduzzi

Pat Narduzzi - Defensive Coordinator

The Duzz! Much maligned during the 2009 season, Coach Narduzzi is suddenly the cats meow again, attracting attention from soon to be member of the SEC, Texas A&M in the off-season. That attention resulted in a hefty raise for himself and the other coordinators and assistants.

Last season every every single starter on the MSU defense received some sort of All-B1G recognition, either first team, second team or honorable mention. He'll be a hot commodity again this winter if the Spartans have another successful season. Which was some sort of record for the Spartans. He's a good coach and a great recruiter. I think the success of the Spartans over the past three seasons speaks to that.


Pat Narduzzi


Defensive Coordinator at Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI ·

Not exactly heating up the twitterverse there is he? I believe he may use @MSU_Football as well.

O/U on years that it will take to be a head coach: 1 year. He's been at this coaching game nearly as long as Coach Roushar, but something about him screams (well maybe it's him screaming) Head Coach. If the Spartans make the B1G championship game again, I expect he will move on to a HC job of his own.


This week...

MONDAY | Cocktail Party Preview

TUESDAY | Smartest Guys in the Room

WEDNESDAY | Shh...Don't wake the Giant

THURSDAY | Michigan State Potluck

FRIDAY | Keeping the Enemy Close