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MSU News: Track & Field/Cross Country Director Walt Drenth Retires, Football LBs Luke Fulton & Charles Willekes Enter Transfer Portal

NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championship Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Michigan State Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Walt Drenth has reportedly retired effective today. Drenth was appointed as the director of the men’s and women’s track & field and cross country programs at Michigan State on June 2, 2006. He joined the Michigan State program as head men’s cross country coach and assistant men’s track & field coach in 2004.

Drenth has had an incredible career over his 30 years of coaching. He has led 51 teams to NCAA Championship appearances, coached 180 All-Americans and 81 Academic All-Americans, has won 28 separate Coach of the Year honors, and the 2014 MSU Women’s Cross Country team won the national championship.

Over his 15 seasons at Michigan State, Drenth won 2014 USTFCCCA Women’s National Coach of the Year, was a five-time Great Lakes Coach of the Year (2006, 2007, 2010, and 2014 Women’s Cross Country, 2017 Men’s Cross Country), and was a six-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2019 Women’s Cross Country, 2015 Outdoor Track & Field). He also oversaw 729 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, 180 All-Americans, 81 Academic All-Americans, and 169 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars. Team-wise, he oversaw 40 conference championships, 40 NCAA Top-20 finishes, 18 Academic All-American Teams, seven Great Lakes Regional Championships, and four Great Lakes Regional Athlete of the Year.

Per the official statement from Michigan State Athletics:

Associate head coach Lisa Senakiewich will serve as Interim Director of Track & Field and Cross Country for the 2020-21 cross country and track & field seasons. Michigan State will conduct a national search for a head coach following the season.

Linebackers Luke Fulton and Charles Willekes Enter Transfer Portal

Redshirt freshman linebacker Luke Fulton has reportedly entered the transfer portal. Fulton has been suspended from the team since being arrested on Sep. 8.

At the time the arrest was reported, MSU football spokesman Ben Phlegar in an exclusive statement issued to MLive said: “Luke Fulton and Charles Willekes were suspended from all team activities immediately, and remain suspended from the program indefinitely.”

Fulton was a three-star prospect who signed with the 2019 recruiting class. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker from Youngstown, Ohio redshirted as a true freshman last season.

Update: According to the State News, walk-on linebacker Charles Willekes, who is also suspended due to the same incident, will enter the transfer portal as well. Charles Willekes is the brother of recently departed Spartan great, Kenny Willekes.