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Harlon Barnett and Mike Tressel Promoted to Co-Defensive Coordinators

Both coaches, rumored possibly to join Pat Narduzzi at Pitt, will now head up the Spartans' defense.

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With Pat Narduzzi's recent move to Pitt, it was rumored that Narduzzi might get some of his coaches to join him with the Panthers. It sounds like Mark Dantonio has done something to counteract the possibility of this happening, with secondary coach Harlon Barnett and linebackers/special teams coach Mike Tressell receiving a promotion to co-defensive coordinators today. Barnett also received the title of assistant head coach. From Dantonio:

Harlon Barnett assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator and Mike Tressel co-defensive coordinator," Dantonio said. "Harlon and Mike have been on my staff together for 11 years, including the past eight years at Michigan State. They both have had a ton of input and shared a lot of ideas with Pat Narduzzi over the years. The co-appointment ensures continuity in terms of player relationships, defensive concepts and terminology.

"Both Harlon and Mike have done a tremendous job in the individual day-to-day development of our players. Their relationships with our players are strong and true. I have a strong personal relationship with those two, and they will do an outstanding job in their new roles while continuing the legacy Michigan State has built on defense.

"I'm excited about maintaining our tradition of playing outstanding defense while continuing our quest for another Big Ten Championship."

Dantonio has preached the importance of stability in the coaching staff during his tenure at MSU, and this looks like another strong step to preserve that continuity.