Mark Dantonio thinks he's found a successor in Pat Narduzzi
Michigan State spent Monday introducing his newest co-offensive coordinator, but he also dropped a bit of news regarding his defensive coordinator. Asked by WVFN-AM whether he would like Spartans defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to succeed him in East Lansing, Dantonio replied, "That would be my hope."
"As I move forward, I'm gonna coach for a while," Dantonio said, "but you always want to leave a legacy."
Dantonio, 56, is entering his seventh season as the head coach at Michigan State after coaching at Cincinnati for three seasons. He signed a contract extension in January to keep him in East Lansing through 2018.
In addition to his defensive coordinator duties, Narduzzi also took on the role of assistant head coach with Monday's announcement.
"Coach D isn't someone who throws titles around," Narduzzi said. "I understand this position carries some weight and importance, so I'm grateful for the opportunity."
Narduzzi followed Dantonio from Cincinnati to Michigan State, which means this will be his 10th season as Dantonio's defensive coordinator. The Spartans have led the Big Ten in total defense for two years running, and also led the league in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense and scoring defense in last year's 7-6 campaign.
Speaking of that 7-6 record, Michigan State's 108th-ranked scoring offense was why Dantonio was in front of a microphone in the first place on Monday. The school officially announced that Jim Bollman would serve as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, while quarterbacks coach Dave Warner would be promoted to the other co-offensive coordinator and now coach running backs, with Brad Salem transitioning from running backs to quarterbacks. Warner will call plays.
"We need to gear up a little bit. We need to play better than we did, I don't think there's any secret in that," said Dantonio.
The Spartans ranked 75th or lower in each of the five major offensive metrics, losing games by scores of 20-3, 17-16, 19-16, 12-10 and 23-20. Michigan State also moves on without the nation's third-leading rusher after junior Le'Veon Bell took his 1,793 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns with him to the NFL.