Michigan State’s winningest head coach in history announced his resignation today via Twitter:
To all Spartans: Thank you for everything. You have truly helped my dreams come true. pic.twitter.com/uKkubvp1cW— Mark Dantonio (@DantonioMark) February 4, 2020
Our resident Michigan State scribe will compile some Big Thoughts on that later, but for now, Dantonio has left MSU in a weird spot needing a new head coach just before signing day. Let’s talk about who should replace him!
1: Luke Fickell
The Cincinnati head coach is the hottest commodity available as far as up-and-coming coaches are concerned. Taking over from Tommy Tuberville, he put together four wins in that crater before following it up with consecutive 11-win seasons. He’s coached with Dantonio under Jim Tressel at Ohio State and has pretty extensive ties to the Midwest. I can’t believe nobody hired the 46-year-old Fickell away from Cincy this offseason.
2: Pat Narduzzi
Could the 53-year old Pitt head coach resist the call to take over for his mentor at the program where he rose to fame? He’s 36-29 overall in five seasons at the helm, but perhaps with Michigan State he could fully recapture the galaxy class magic.
3: Alex Grinch
Okay, so maybe we can stray from the Dantonio coaching tree. Here’s a defensive coordinator from Oklahoma that has been all over the country, from Ohio State to Washington State, and has generally improved defenses wherever he’s been. Brush that 49-point first half against LSU aside for a moment and consider handing the reins to this 40 year old recruiting and scheming powerhouse.
4: Chris Creighton
This has been a tumultuous offseason for the Michigan State program, so perhaps it’s time to bring in a coach with experience navigating the waters of institutional turmoil. Eastern Michigan has been struggling to keep its athletic department afloat financially, and yet Creighton has made bowl games three of the last four years there, getting road wins against three Big Ten teams in that time. He’s worked his way from NAIA head coach to Division III head coach to FCS head coach to FBS head coach. The upside is unkown, and while this hire would definitely be a bit of a punt, sometimes punting is winning.
5: Raheem Morris
Did you know he’s only 43? He was the DC at Kansas State in 2006 and okay I’ll be honest I just want to see three Big Ten teams have head coaches that have been fired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.