Mark Dantonio's father passes away

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, whose father, Justin, died Sunday night at the age of 86.

Mark Dantonio returned to his hometown of Zanesville, Ohio, last Tuesday as his father underwent a medical procedure. The coach was back at Michigan State by Thursday but returned home during the weekend.

Dantonio oversaw practice Monday in East Lansing. He'll be in Zanesville on Wednesday and Thursday for a visitation and a funeral service before returning to East Lansing to coach Michigan State's season opener Friday night against Youngstown State.

Justin Dantonio was a World War II veteran who served as a longtime educator at three Ohio high schools.

This is certainly a tough blow for Mark Dantonio in what normally is an exciting time of year. I fully expect Michigan State to rally around its coach, much like it did last year when Dantonio went through his health issues.