As you no doubt have heard, Mark Dantonio was released from the hospital today:
"I'm anxious and excited to be home with my family," Dantonio said. "My focus now is on recovery and being a model patient for Dr. Chris D'Haem (Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute/Sparrow, who performed the cardiac catheterization procedure).
"The outpouring of support has been simply overwhelming and comforting. My family and I have received countless cards, e-mails and text messages. It's impossible for me to express just how much the support and encouragement means to me and my family. [ . . . ]
"I haven't established a timeline for my return, but I have the utmost confidence in Coach Treadwell and the rest of the coaching staff to carry on with business as usual in my absence. I know that I must gradually work my way back onto the sidelines."
Great news, obviously. The news since Sunday night has all been consistent with the original reports that this was a rather minor heart episode and that he should make a full (and relatively speedy) recovery.
There's much speculation as to when Dantonio will come back. Rexrode tells us:
Mark Dantonio is indeed home, and it's pure rest through the weekend for him. Then a meeting Monday or Tuesday with doctors, Mark Hollis just explained, to see where he stands for the Oct. 2 Wisconsin game.
From a purely football perspective, this is a week where the team can afford to be without the services of its head coach; Northern Colorado will almost certainly provide little challenge. Wisconsin is another matter entirely, of course. During his press conference today, Mark Hollis said that Dantonio's return could see him either on the sideline or up in the press box, and that his involvement with the team could be anywhere from full coaching responsibilities, to completely hands-off.
I do hope that Dantonio takes it easy and only becomes involved to the level his health allows. Still, it's difficult to envision him being anywhere other than the MSU sideline in Ann Arbor on October 9th. I'd bet that he'll do some coaching from the press box against Wisconsin and then retake the reins immediately thereafter.
More, after the jump.
For now, the head football guy is Don Treadwell. (I don't know what else to call him, as MSU has specifically avoided using the "Interim Head Coach" or "Acting Head Coach" titles.) He clearly has the full support of Mark Hollis:
"Without a doubt, he's a very even-keeled, rational-thinking football coach," MSU athletics director Mark Hollis said. "His emotional level doesn't get too high or too low ... when you're looking for a coach, you have to be looking for their ability to make decisions." [ . . . ]
"We’re fortunate that while Mark Dantonio is recovering, we have people that can step in."
Shannon Shelton's article and her accompanying resume piece together provide a nice introduction to Treadwell, who is clearly the most qualified member of the current football staff to handle the team in the interim. I have very few complains about Treadwell's tenure as offensive coordinator at MSU, and by all accounts he's performed very well this week already. Adam Rittenberg tweeted that Treadwell was "very impressive" on the weekly Big Ten coaches' conference call today, and I agree. Spartan Digest has the full audio (and it's free!). The video of Treadwell's MSU press conference is above. Most of the questions from both, understandably, were about Dantonio.
As for the Northern Colorado game: Treadwell, like most offensive coordinators, usually coaches from the press box, but he'll be on the field on Saturday in order to handle Dantonio's game management responsibilities. Another offensive assistant coach -- presumably Brad Salem or Dave Warner -- will take his place up in the press box. And, Rexrode confirms that Narduzzi will still handle all of the defensive preparation and playcalling -- for better or worse.
Treadwell clearly has a big stake in this. He was a finalist for the Miami (Ohio) head coaching position this past winter, and if the team performs well under his control, he'll almost certainly land a head job this year. (If we beat Wisconsin when he's the head man, he'll be a lock.) Thankfully, his initial moves have looked good, and it appears that the temporary transition has been as seamless as could have been hoped.