Mark Dantonio Talks Longevity, Respect & MORE!

Mark Dantonio working hard during the 2016 summer camp.  Photo courtesy of Sofiya Stumpos.
Mark Dantonio working hard during the 2016 summer camp. Photo courtesy of Sofiya Stumpos.

Even though #5 Michigan State has one of the winningest records in college football this decade (78-28 since 2010), there is still a notion that the Spartans don’t get the respect that they deserve.

That topic was raised by some coaches that feel the Spartans deserve more respect considering the current run that the program has been on.

The question was once again posed to Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, who said that he doesn’t feel his program is disrespected because of where the Spartans are ranked in the preseason.

“I don’t feel that, I just go about my business,” he said. “I think they’ve got us ranked in the top 15, I think everybody does, so there’s 120 or so teams out there, 129 maybe and some people have us as far up there as No. 5, so we’ll earn what we get as we move forward on and off the field. That’s our message to our players, don’t get caught up in the little things.”

When it comes to the program’s success and longevity over the course of the past eight years, Dantonio said is has to do with the coaching staff he’s built and the fact that the Spartans are able to keep the majority of their staff in tact from year to year.

“I think continuity with your staff as much as anything,” he said. “If you have continuity with your staff, you have a chance to be successful. We’ve had that, we have three new coaches coming on the staff, but they all have Spartan roots, Treadwell was with me for seven years, he’s coached at Michigan State in the past, he’s been a coordinator, he’s been a head coach, Paul Haynes has been a head coach, been at Michigan State and Chuck Bullough has played here and this place means so much to him. Mike Tressel being the sole coordinator by himself is a big story in this, I think he’s done a tremendous job of getting ready and it’s going to be exciting to watch him and that staff.”

One regard where the program’s continuity shows is the fact that on a yearly basis, the Spartans have multiple groups of siblings on the roster. This year, Michigan State has two sets of brothers on the roster with the Dowell brothers (Andrew, David and Michael) and the Panasiuk brothers (Mike and Jacub).

Dantonio said that it’s a good feeling for him as a coach when he can have brothers choose his program, because, to him, that means things are being done the right way in East Lansing.

“When you have a younger brother come to your program there is a good feel about what you are doing as a program,” he said. “You just feel like, ‘Hey, we’re doing it the right way,’ because when I talk to recruits all of the time, the most important thing you can do as a recruit is find the truth behind every program. What is the truth? Behind all of that shining stuff, what is the truth behind every program? And our players and their younger brothers know the truth and when they decide to make a decision to attend Michigan State, to me that’s a big positive in terms of what’s going on and what’s happening.”

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