MLive writer Mark Griffith released and article this morning that took a fascinating look at the hiring of Mark Dantonio back in 2006.
The athletic director at the time, Ron Mason, appointed his right hand man, senior associate AD Mark Hollis (now the athletic director at Michigan State), to head up the hiring process. Hollis then came up with a special formula to find the right man for the job.
"It was one of the most unique hiring processes ever done. A lot was done on metrics, 72 different metrics, on every possible coach." Hollis explained.
"I took every coaching transition, five years before and five years after, and came up with the variables that resulted in positive transitions and negative transitions." Hollis went on to explain that NFL experience, regional connections, time spent in East Lansing as a player or coach, and college playing experience were all things that were considered when he was looking through applicants.
"Then we took an approach where we said, `What do we call an ideal coach? How do we see them in a leadership role, motivational role and teaching role?,' We went through that by committee.'' Other people on that included AD Ron Mason, Hollis, and basketball coach Tom Izzo, just to name a few.
Over the span of the next 26 days, the 72 different metrics helped the committee narrow a pool of 30 names down to 8. Those eight were interviewed and eventually whittled down to four, and then the decision was made that Mark Dantonio was the right man for the job.
One Big Ten title, a Legends Division title, a five game winning streak against Michigan, and six straight bowl appearances later, Hollis knows that those 72 specific criteria led him to the right guy for the job.
"We'd developed that list of 72 criteria to eliminate candidates. Coach D gave us 72 reasons to make him our head coach. He's the complete package." Hollis said.
Mark Hollis can probably expect a handful of calls from athletic directors around the country over the next few days wanting to get their hands on that list of 72 metrics.