With the, well, downright shocking news of Mark Dantonio stepping down as the Michigan State Spartans head coach, the team will turn to defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Mike Tressel to take over head coaching duties on an interim basis.
DC Mike Tressel will serve as Michigan State's interim coach, per MSU press release.— Stephen Brooks (@StephenM_Brooks) February 4, 2020
This is a logical move as Tressel was also the assistant head coach on staff. Now, athletic director Bill Beekman, along with President Stanley and possibly Dantonio himself, will need to find Michigan State’s next full-time head coach.
Tressel has been on Dantonio’s staff for 16 years, including 13 with MSU. After initially serving as linebackers coach, Tressel was promoted to co-defensive coordinator following the 2014 season, and took over as sole DC in 2018.
Tressel spent the first three years on Dantonio’s staff at Cincinnati as linebackers and special teams coach from 2004 through 2006. He’s also spent time coaching at South Dakota, Wartburg College and Ohio State.
Don’t rule out the possibility of Tressel being named permanent head coach, at least for 2020, as well.
On a personal note, Tressel is the nephew of longtime Ohio State head coach, Jim Tressel.
The timing of Dantonio’s announcement is odd. It comes one day before National Signing Day (with 19 commits from the 2020 class already signed, and seven already enrolled). It also comes at a time where most head coaching candidates and quality coordinators have already signed contracts with other programs. So the options may be slim, but that remains to be seen.
The ongoing unlawful arrest and wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former program staffer Curtis Blackwell also alleges that Dantonio committed NCAA violations as well. In my personal opinion, which I’ll be honest, doesn’t hold much weight, these NCAA allegations seem to be minor, and are quite frankly just allegations at this point. But could there be something more here that forced Dantonio to step down?
Stayed tuned with The Only Colors as we get more information into the suddenness of Dantonio’s decision.