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Michigan State’s Mike Tressel To Be Named Cincinnati Defensive Coordinator, Per Report

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Tressel served as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator under Mark Dantonio

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel, Michigan State safeties coach Mike Tressel is headed to Cincinnati to become the school’s new defensive coordinator.

Tressel will be reunited with Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell, as the two were on staff together at Ohio State when Tressel was a graduate assistant under his uncle, Jim Tressel, in 2002 and 2003. That staff also included former MSU head coach Mark Dantonio.

This will be the second stint as an assistant coach at Cincinnati for Tressel, who served as the linebackers and special teams coach for the Bearcats from 2004-2006 under Dantonio. He then followed Dantonio to Michigan State in 2007, and has been here since then.

Tressel, who was named interim head coach for a brief stint following Dantonio’s retirement, was one of the few holdovers on the staff from the Dantonio to Tucker transition, but his role was downgraded from defensive coordinator to safeties coach this year.

Tressel enjoyed some success during his tenure as MSU defensive coordinator, taking over the role on a partial basis in 2015 following the departure of Pat Narduzzi. He took over the role solely in 2018, a season in which the Spartans would lead the nation in rushing defense, and finish eighth in scoring defense.

The departure will leave a spot to be filled on Mel Tucker’s staff, and marks the end of the longest currently tenured coach for Michigan State. The only other holdover from the final Dantonio years is defensive line coach Ron Burton. Although, cornerbacks coach Harlon Barnett was an original member of Dantonio’s staff, he left to serve as Florida State’s defensive coordinator before returning to East Lansing last fall.