Friday Afternoon, February 3rd
Topic: The Spartans’ Stop The Run Defensive Schemes
Entering his 10th season at Michigan State, Mark Dantonio is one of the most accomplished head coaches in the school's storied history, leading a program that has transformed itself into one of the nation's perennial powers.
Despite losing several key players to injuries throughout the 2015 season, MSU claimed its second Big Ten Championship in three years, won the second-most games in school history (12-2 record), earned a berth in the College Football Playoff, and finished in the Top 10 of the national polls for a third consecutive season at No. 6.
Dantonio led the Spartans to the 2015 Big Ten Championship with a 16-13 victory over previously undefeated and fourth-ranked Iowa. It marked Dantonio's third Big Ten Championship (2010, 2013, 2015), establishing a school record. Dantonio is the first coach in Big Ten history to record five 11-win seasons in a six-year span (11 in 2010; 11 in 2011; school-record 13 in 2013, 11 in 2014; 12 in 2015). His five 11-win seasons are tied with Joe Paterno of Penn State for the second most in Big Ten history. Prior to Dantonio's arrival, MSU had not recorded an 11-win season in its history, and had just two 10-win seasons (1965, 1999).
MSU's 65 wins since 2010 are tied for fifth most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams and most in the Big Ten during that same period. The Spartans have posted six consecutive winning seasons, a first for the program since 1985-90. MSU has won 65 of its last 81 games (65-16; .802), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season. During that span, MSU has claimed three Big Ten Championships (2010, 2013, 2015) and three Big Ten Division titles (2011, 2013, 2015). Michigan State, which has posted a 36-5 record since 2013, is one of only four schools in the nation to play in a Bowl Championship Series Game (2014 Rose Bowl), a New Year's Six game (2015 Cotton Bowl) and the College Football Playoff (2015 CFP Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl) in the last three seasons (Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State). MSU's 36 wins since 2013 are fourth most in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.
A Zanesville, Ohio, native with Midwest ties, Dantonio is in his 37th year of collegiate coaching, including his 13th as a head coach and 15th in East Lansing (served as the Spartan secondary coach from 1995-2000). Dantonio owns a career record of 105-50 (.677) in 12 seasons as a head coach.
A two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2010, 2013), Dantonio has led Michigan State to Top 25 finishes in six of his nine seasons (2008: No. 24 in both polls; 2010: No. 14 in both polls; 2011: No. 10 USA TODAY/No. 11 AP; 2013: No. 3 in both polls; 2014: No. 5 in both polls; and 2015: No. 6 in both polls). Dantonio's six AP Top-25 finishes are tied for second most in school history (Biggie Munn, who coached from 1947-53, had six consecutive from 1948-53). Daugherty's teams posted seven Top-25 finishes during his 19-year tenure from 1954-72. MSU and Alabama (No. 7 in 2013, No. 4 in 2014, No. 1 in 2015) are the only schools to finish in the Top 10 of the last three final AP Polls.
Dantonio has 37 years of collegiate coaching experience. Previous Coaching Experience: College - Graduate assistant at Ohio U; graduate assistant at Purdue; defensive coordinator at Butler Junior College; graduate assistant at Ohio State; defensive secondary coach at Akron); defensive secondary coach and defensive coordinator at Youngstown State; defensive secondary coach at Kansas; defensive secondary coach and associate head coach at Michigan State; defensive coordinator at Ohio State and head coach at Cincinnati. Dantonio earned three letters as a defensive back for Coach Jim Carlen at South Carolina