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Mark Dantonio Named to the Dodd's Trophy Watch List for Coach of the Year

After Mark Dantonio’s impressive come from behind victory in last year’s Cotton Bowl, the Spartan’s head coach is gaining national attention.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Dantonio has created a winning culture and one of the top football programs in the nation.  With Dantonio steering the Spartans, Michigan State has four 11-win seasons in the past five years. In Big Ten history there have only been two other head coaches to reach this milestone (Fielding Yost, Michigan; Jim Tressel, Ohio State). Dantonio has proven his system can run with the best, showcasing a 24-3 record over the past two years. Dantonio and the Spartans have showed dominance as well with victories over No.5 Stanford in the 2014 Rose Bowl, and a win over No.4 Baylor in the 2015 Cotton Bowl classic.

The 2016 season is approaching and the No.5 Spartans are looking forward to taking the Big Ten title and making a big run at this year's playoffs. Along with the national attention the Spartans have gained, their head coach is finally gaining the recognition he deserves.

Dantonio along with 22 other head coaches has been placed on the Dodd Trophy preseason watch list.  The trophy is named after coaching legend Bobby Dodd, which was established in 1976 after longtime head coach of Georgia tech excelled on the field and within the community. Last year's award winner was Alabama head coach Nick Saban who led the Crimson tide to a 12-2 record (7-1 in conference).

Dantonio's resume speaks for itself since he has arrived on campus in 2007, delivering a 75-31 record. Dantonio is one of six active coaches in the NCAA FBS to have at least a .700 winning percentage. Dantonio has also been to eight consecutive bowl games with the Spartans, and 19 overall in his career. Dantonio joins an elite group of coaching masterminds that include Alabama's Nick Saban, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, TCU's Gary Patterson, UCLA's Jim Mora, and Big Ten rival Urban Meyer at Ohio State. If the Spartans have a historic year and make it into the playoff picture, Dantonio has a huge chance at bringing the trophy back to the Big Ten; Lloyd Carr won in 2007 at Michigan.

Here's a look at the 2015 Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List:

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

Bryan Harsin, Boise State

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

Mark Helfrich, Oregon

Art Briles, Baylor

Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

Nick Saban, Alabama

Urban Meyer, Ohio State

Gary Patterson, TCU

Jim Mora, UCLA

Dabo Swinney, Clemson

Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

Bill Snyder, Kansas State

Rich Rodriguez, Arizona

Mark Richt, Georgia

Gary Pinkel, Missouri

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

Gus Malzahn, Auburn

Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech

Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss