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Michigan State football: Mark Dantonio’s new role clarified

What will Dantonio’s role be?



Michigan State football
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Sunday evening, Al Haller announced that Mark Dantonio would be back with the Michigan State football program.

Following the news that broke early Sunday morning, Michigan State football has faced a lot of questions regarding the future of the program. For the time being, a familiar face will be returning to the sidelines, as clarified by Al Haller.

When reading the reports, it was a foregone conclusion that Mel Tucker would be suspended. Haller confirmed that Sunday evening, stating that Mel Tucker is suspended without pay.

Haller also confirmed and clarified a rumor that had been circulating since the allegations surfaced: Mark Dantonio is back. Haller stated that he called Dantonio Sunday on morning, and that Coach D told him he was willing to return “wherever Haller needed.”

Later in the conference, Haller clarified Dantonio’s role, stating that the former Spartan coach will be an associate head coach to acting interim head coach Harlon Barnett. It was mentioned that Dantonio’s role will be “on the sideline or in the press boxes,” confirming that Dantonio will be a headset wearer for the Spartans. 

Dantonio was also stated to be heading over to the team by Tuesday, and that the situation is still being figured out.

This is not the first time Dantonio will be on the Michigan State sidelines during a rough stretch of circumstances. During the latter half of Dantonio’s tenure, players in the program were dismissed for violating Michigan State’s policies on sexual assault and harassment. Dantonio reacted swiftly and appropriately during these situations. He is the experienced voice needed to aid this program.

Dantonio led the Spartans to a 114-57 record during his 13-year tenure as Michigan State football coach. He brought the Spartans to unprecedented heights, winning multiple New Year’s Six bowls, Big Ten Championships, and earning a College Football Playoff berth in 2015. 

On Saturday, the Spartans are set to honor the 2013 Michigan State Spartans’ Rose Bowl-winning football team, who were led by Dantonio. Now, the all-time winningest head coach in Michigan State football history will be helping the 2023 Spartans as well.