Big Ten: Don Treadwell

Big Ten Wednesday mailbag

February, 12, 2014
2/12/14
5:00
PM ET
It's time for the second Big Ten mailbag in three days. Lucky you. And here's one last call for comments from Maryland and Rutgers fans. The response from Rutgers fans has been terrific. Step it up a bit, Maryland supporters.

On to your questions ...

Samuel from Iowa City writes: Brian, with Rutgers and Maryland joining the league, what kind of time frame do you think we're looking at before it becomes apparent whether adding them is/isn't paying the dividends the honchos expect?

Brian Bennett: Well, let's first remember that these moves were more about demographics and markets more than the on-field football product, Samuel. So in that sense, we'll need to judge the expansion success of lack thereof based on a lot more than just won-loss records. The first measurement should come as soon as next year, when negotiations begin on the new Big Ten TV contract. The league figures to cash in big regardless, but the addition of markets like the New York/New Jersey and Maryland/Virginia/D.C. areas could mean an even more serious windfall. And the other big thing to look at is recruiting. The Big Ten hopes these moves open up new talent pipelines for its teams, and I think within five years, we should be able to see whether the league is signing more players from the East Coast.

Of course, it would also be nice if the Scarlet Knights and Terrapins are going to bowl games and contending for league titles, but that would be mostly gravy for the league.


Tim from Raleigh writes: As we saw the other day, Gary Andersen interviewed for the Cleveland HC position (possibly offered?), but then didn't pursue it. That doesn't surprise me at all that he'd turn that down. I can't image him ever going to the NFL. Andersen seems to really care about his players and developing them into good football players as well as good people in general. NFL players are old enough that they probably don't want their coach mentoring them in day to day life, which he would want to do. He also doesn't strike me as a man that cares that much about the extra million or so he'd get in the NFL. Thoughts?

Brian Bennett: I think some might have made a mountain out of a molehill from the Andersen news, which is understandable considering how surprising it was and how little else is going on in college football right now. We don't know how far along the talks between the Browns and Andersen got, but it sounds like there was merely some gauging of interest. The Browns took their sweet time in hiring a new coach and apparently turned over every rock. I have a hard time believing Andersen -- who is a very good coach but doesn't have any NFL experience or even a long track record as a college head coach -- was near the top of the Browns' wish list. And I surely don't blame Andersen for listening when an NFL team comes calling.

The encouraging thing is that by all indications, Andersen kept Barry Alvarez informed during the process and didn't use the opportunity to try and leverage the Badgers for a big raise or other concessions. It's not realistic to assume Andersen will stay in Madison the rest of his career if he piles up successful seasons. But I don't think he's actively looking to leave, either, especially with his son, Chasen, just entering the program.


Redenbacher V. from Sandusky, Ohio, writes: In regards to your entry outlining Mark Schlabach's updated rankings for next year: I was not surprised he moved Michigan up 3 spots. They will continue to rise in the rankings throughout the offseason and as they play nonconference patsies as they do every season. Everyone will forget the ills of the past season and give the Wolverines the benefit of doubt. By the time August 30th gets here, they will be ranked between 14-18. If they manage to beat another perennially over-ranked team in Notre Dame, they will likely climb into the top 10 before falling apart all over again during the conference season. How many times does this cycle have to repeat itself before the Wolverines stop receiving the benefit of doubt?

Brian Bennett: While I don't really agree with Mark's ranking of Michigan, I also know it's not easy finding teams to fill out those last four or five spots on the ballot, especially at this point in the season. (Though I'd put Nebraska there ahead of the Wolverines). This also isn't a phenomenon that's limited to Michigan. Every year, we see "brand-name" schools get overrated in preseason polls. How many seasons have programs like Notre Dame, Texas, Florida and Miami lived off their reputations? Michigan will get a quick test out of the gate at Notre Dame in Week 2. If the Wolverines can win in South Bend, there's a good chance for a 6-0 start heading into an Oct. 11 home game against Penn State.

Polls shouldn't really matter for anything more than discussion going forward with the new playoff system and selection committee in place. They really don't matter in February. But it gives us something fun to talk about.


Sparty from Marquette, Mich., writes: Most of the coordinator talk surrounding MSU is regarding when Pat Narduzzi will leave. On the opposite end of the spectrum, do you think Mark Dantonio will make room on his staff for Don Treadwell now that he's back on the job market?

Brian Bennett: Dantonio has an obvious affinity for Treadwell, who was his offensive coordinator from 2004 to 2010 at Cincinnati and Michigan State. Dantonio also was not happy when Miami (Ohio) fired Treadwell less than three seasons into his tenure as head coach last year. But right now there are no openings on the Spartans staff, and after the way the Michigan State offense developed under coordinator Dave Warner (and, yes, Jim Bollman), Dantonio has no reason to shake things up. If an opening occurred on the offensive side, I could definitely see him turning toward Treadwell. But right now, that's not happening.


John S. from Lindale, Ga., writes: As a lifelong Michigan fan, there's something different to me about the teams of the last five or six years, something other than mediocrity. It is as if these teams, with the exception of the 2011 team, lack the belief they can win. That seems to have been the case with the RichRod teams, as well as the teams of the last three years, with the previously noted exception. My question is this: Do you think with Coach Hoke that what has happened is there's a coach in place who wants to be at Michigan, understanding the history and tradition of success, more than a coach who is capable of replicating that success? I wonder if, perhaps, Brady Hoke has been confused with someone who is capable of replicating the success of the past, simply because he understands the context in which that success was achieved. In other words, is Brady Hoke someone who appreciates the history, but who isn't necessarily capable of matching it?

Brian Bennett: John, you raise some interesting questions. There's no question that Hoke's status as a "Michigan man" fueled his early popularity, and there would likely be a lot more heat on him entering Year 4 if he was more of an outsider. Hoke was very successful at previous stops as a head coach, but I think he still has a lot to prove as a coach at the highest level. As to whether the Wolverines lack a belief they can win, I'm not sure about that. Yes, the 2013 team lost several close games, but they've also won some of those in Hoke's tenure. The biggest difference, to me, from the 2011 squad to the past two years was an apparent lack of standout leaders who could will the team to win, like Mike Martin and David Molk.

But we might not even be having this discussion if Michigan had just played a little bit better. The most pressing concern for the Wolverines and Hoke going forward is whether the program can do a much better job of coaching and developing all the star-studded recruits it has brought in.


Eddie from Kansas City writes: When will the B1G ever get around to scheduling conf games each of the first 4 weeks of the season like other conferences (2020)?

Brian Bennett: Eddie, you must have missed all the offseason scheduling news we wrote about last year. September conference games are on the way. There will be one in 2014 when Penn State visits Rutgers on Sept. 13, though that was a previously scheduled nonconference game that turned into a league contest when the Big Ten added the Scarlet Knights. Ohio State and Indiana will play in the 2017 season opener, and there will be two other Big Ten games in Week 3 of that year. We won't get many others before then because of previously scheduled nonconference games, but when the nine-game league schedule begins, you will see that happening on a more regular basis. I can't wait.
LOS ANGELES -- Documents have yet to be drafted and pens haven't quiet made their way to paper, but Michigan State fans can feel good about the future of their football coaching staff.

Athletic director Mark Hollis on Monday reiterated that discussions about raises for coach Mark Dantonio and his assistants remain in a very good place. Hollis and Dantonio have had several discussions, and agreements could be finalized shortly after the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO. Dantonio, arguably the nation's top coaching bargain with a salary of $1.96 million this year, will receive a $2 million longevity bonus in January as well as a bump in salary going forward. Dantonio, one of only a few major-conference coaches who doesn't have an agent, has given every indication he will return to MSU for an eighth season (and many more).

"We've verbalized where we want to be with the entire staff, with the coordinators, with the assistant coaches and with Mark," Hollis said. "Those numbers ensure continuity if the choice of the coaches are to remain at Michigan State. We've stepped forward. I get concerned sometimes about where we're going with coaches' salaries as an industry, but at the same time, as a coach, you need to ensure that continuity is in place."

Hollis added that the worst thing that can happen to a program is losing a coach after becoming wrapped up in "short-term thinking." He's completely in line with Dantonio regarding staff continuity.

Dantonio has had only four assistants depart since arriving at Michigan State in 2007 -- two for college head-coaching positions (Dan Enos and Don Treadwell) and one for an NFL coordinator job (Dan Roushar). Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was a prime candidate for the head-coaching vacancy at Connecticut but intends on staying at MSU. Other assistants like secondary coach Harlon Barnett, quarterbacks coach Brad Salem and linebackers/special teams coach Mike Tressel could be targeted for other jobs.

Michigan State has examined the coaching salary market, both within the Big Ten and nationally, to determine potential raises.

"We're getting down more into the smaller details," Hollis said. "When you get down to it, it's, 'What am I being paid and how safe do I feel being the coach here?' Those are the two pieces we're trying to put together.

"We're very comfortable where the basic components of compensation for our staff are, in order to ensure continuity."

Big Ten Friday mailblog

September, 27, 2013
9/27/13
4:30
PM ET
Some questions and answers before Week 5 kicks off.

Don't forget: Twitter!

To the inbox ...

Eric from Los Angeles writes: Hi Adam, love the blog. Is this the most open you have ever seen the Big Ten? Call me crazy, but I'm not completely sold on OSU this year. I could see up to 6 teams with a legit chance of winning the Big Ten Championship. OSU, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, Northwestern. Thoughts?

Adam Rittenberg: Eric, I'll have a better answer for you in two weeks, as Ohio State will have played both Wisconsin and Northwestern. If the Buckeyes blow out both the Badgers and Wildcats, it's hard not to consider them the clear-cut favorite to win the league, as we all thought entering the season. If Ohio State loses one of the next two games, the race should be pretty wide open. Every Big Ten team has some type of flaw, but Ohio State could have fewer than the others, as well as more talent. We'll soon find out.


Georgie from Augusta, Ga., writes: Adam, As a nuclear engineer, and I appreciate how close your name is to "Atom". As much as I am completely against paying the student-athletes, do you think it might be prudent to pay student-athletes for revenue generating sports a flat salary of, let's say, $9.00 an hour for practice and game time? That way, the student-athletes get a bit of money, and the school has a way to keep a cap on the amount they are paying the players. Using this method, the football players would cost the school $1,080,000 (on top of all the other money spent on them) assuming the student-athletes put in 25 hours of 'work' a week, there are 120 players on the football team, and practice 40 weeks of the year. Your thoughts?

Rittenberg: Maybe I'll change my name to Atom. Sounds cooler. The problem with your plan is limiting the salaries only to athletes who play revenue-generating sports. Leagues would open themselves up to Title IX issues, potential lawsuits from athletes who play other sports, etc. Those athletes, by the way, put in a lot of time, too. It's why if and when scholarship values increase, it will be for all full-scholarship athletes. The leagues clearly can afford this and the Big Ten has been on board with it for a few years.


Brian from Raleigh, N.C., writes: On Jim Delany's comments on paying student athletes, isn't there something inconsistent about heralding a century-old student-athlete model, and simultaneously wielding the Big Ten conference as a money-making machine? He's saying student-athletes shouldn't be able to make money off of football or even control their own images after graduation, but the Big Ten conference and schools can make as much money off the athletes as the market will support. Isn't there something morally shaky about that argument? I'm all for an NFL D-league that offers a for-pay alternative to talented athletes. That seems to solve a lot of problems, and take a lot of pressure off academic institutions. But so long as the schools and major conferences are enjoying unprecedented revenue from the Big Ten Network and other TV deals, there are going to be students who feel that they have earned some portion of that revenue. If Delany isn't willing to negotiate on that point, he needs to be prepared to give up his cable network, give up the league's exposure in other sports media, and impose coaching salary caps and facilities spending caps to keep Big Ten athletics affordable. The alternative-- "We can make as much money off of you as we want but you have to live out the ideals of student athletics"-- is incredibly disgusting and hypocritical.

Rittenberg: Some good points, Brian. Delany's response would be that there were great college players in the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s and so on, just like there are great players today. They come and go. The reason the Big Ten makes money is because of its brand and the brands it represents. The platform is the reason revenues are going up, not because players are so much better now than they were 15 years ago. He would say the Big Ten gets rich because of what Big Ten football means, because of what Big Ten football has created over the years. If you want to be a part of this platform, you have to agree to the collegial model. If you want to go pro, you can. He also is willing to negotiate on the value of scholarships, but he doesn't want a system with agents and contracts and endorsements. It would get out of hand.


Cory from Dallas writes: How do athletes and their families not realize how much they are actually getting? Everyone is constantly complaining about increased tuition and costs associated with school and these athletes don't have to worry about that but they are still complaining. I am all for giving kids getting access to the school supplies and textbooks they need but handing a kid extra money will only lead to more problems. The amount of benefit these kids are obtaining by getting a scholarship is huge and I just don't understand how they don't see that. I wish I didn't have school loans to pay for now but I chose to walk onto a team because I wanted to play a sport. If a kid wants to get paid that bad go straight to the pros, find a semi-pro league or get a trainer. Going to college on a scholarship means a free education, free room and board, free access to a trainer and high end weight room, the chance to play in front of thousands and also a laundry list of other benefits (which includes getting some of their laundry done for them). People need a reality check.

Rittenberg: Cory, thanks for your perspective. I think the value of a scholarship can go a bit further, and by increasing it across the board for every full-scholarship athlete, male or female, you satisfy Title IX and prevent further fairness issues. The big, rich conferences can do this and shouldn't be held back by the smaller, poorer ones. There are some costs currently not covered that should be, to help out the athletes and their families. But beyond that, I don't see a pay-for-play system being feasible.


Brian from Atlanta writes: Adam, since (Barry) Alvarez arrived at WI, OSU is 12-6-1 against WI but only 12-10-1 against MI. In addition, OSU is 13-7 against PSU. WI has been the 3rd biggest threat to OSU over that period. There have been years when WI was the bigger threat, but overall it is still clearly MI.

Rittenberg: Some good numbers to present, Brian. If you're going solely by head-to-head, Penn State is probably the biggest threat to Ohio State, as the Lions have performed better against the Buckeyes in recent years than either Michigan or Wisconsin. But if you go by conference titles won, Wisconsin clearly has been the biggest threat in recent years. The Badgers have won or shared three consecutive Big Ten titles and boast five titles since 1998. In the same span, Michigan has won or shared four titles and none since 2004. Penn State has only two titles (both vacated). I think you have to take both factors -- head-to-head, overall league titles won -- when sizing up which team is Ohio State's biggest threat.


John from Las Vegas writes: One of the bright spots of the Husker Defense this year has been SJB's knack for intercepting the football. His size (ESPN has him listed at 6'3" and 220lbs) is abnormal for a corner…do you foresee him continuing his success in Big Ten play? Or even projecting to the NFL like Richard Sherman in Seattle?

Rittenberg: John, you're absolutely right that Stanley Jean-Baptiste has been a bright spot for a mostly porous Nebraska defense this season. The former wide receiver is tied for the national lead with four interceptions. Although I still put SJB a notch below Bradley Roby and Darqueze Dennard in the ranks of Big Ten cornerbacks, his stock undoubtedly is on the rise. I think he'll continue to make plays during the Big Ten season, although quarterbacks might think twice about challenging him. I like the Sherman size comparison and will see if Jean-Baptiste looks to Sherman as a model for getting to the next level.


Dave from Whitehall, Mich., writes: My question is the OC Position at Michigan State. Given 2 facts - 1) MSU has floundered offensively since his departure and 2) no real progress or success for Treadwell as a head coach, is it out of the question to bring him back as "THE" OC at MSU? Maybe that would keep Narduzzi around until MD retires and be promoted to the head coaching job in E Lansing?

Rittenberg: Dave, don't you think Michigan State's offense downturn has more to do with Kirk Cousins than Don Treadwell? Nothing against Treadwell, but the Spartans were fine offensively in 2011 when Cousins led them to the Big Ten championship game. I thought Treadwell did some good things at MSU, especially after Mark Dantonio had his health scare in 2010. But I've always felt Michigan State's offensive issues go back to a middling line and the inability to develop enough perimeter weapons. I believe going to the spread offense would help Michigan State close the talent gap in some areas. Treadwell could be looking for a new job if things don't turn around fast at Miami, but I'd be surprised if Michigan State brings him back. And I don't think Treadwell's presence has any bearing on whether Narduzzi stays or goes. Narduzzi wants to be a head coach and should get an opportunity soon.


Rob from Morristown, N.J., writes: Adam, in a recent article regarding Penn State's sanctions reduction, there was mention that the B1G Conference in conjunction with Sen. Mitchell proposed to the NCAA to reduce the sanctions, per Sen. Mitchell's initial recommendations. If that is true, at what point might the B1G decide to lift their own ban on PSU from being eligible to play for the Conference Championship? If the NCAA decides, down the road, to reduce the post season sanctions, is that the key driver for the B1G conference following suit and reducing the ban on playing in the Conference Championship game. Seems to me the conference reacted to follow the NCAA's punishment, now that the B1G may have been at the forefront of helping to reduce the sanctions, might they be proactive in reducing the number of years PSU is banned from playing in the conference championship game, without waiting on the NCAA to decide down the road if they will allow PSU to play in bowl games?

Rittenberg: The Big Ten championship penalty is directly tied to the postseason ban penalty, Rob. When listing the requirements to appear in its first championship game in 2011, the Big Ten noted that any team ineligible for bowls also could not appear in its title game. So once the NCAA ends the bowl ban, the Big Ten will allow Penn State to play for a league championship. It's not a matter of being proactive. The Big Ten doesn't want to see its league champion end its season in Indianapolis because of a larger postseason ban. It would look horrible. What might be more interesting to watch is whether the Big Ten starts giving Penn State its bowl revenue share a little earlier. But right now the Big Ten is following the NCAA's lead on this.
Two Big Ten assistants will attend this year's NCAA Champion Forum, a networking and leadership development seminar for minority assistants identified as potential head coaches.

Purdue wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman and Ohio State co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Everett Withers, who also serves as the Buckeyes' assistant head coach, are among the 11 FBS assistants attending the event, held June 13-15 in Orlando, Fla. Assistants from the ACC, Pac-12, Big 12 and SEC also will be in attendance.

Sherman, Withers and the other assistants will have simulated job interviews, media training and other sessions during the event. There's an athletic directors panel on June 13 that will include two Big Ten ADs: Illinois' Mike Thomas and Northwestern's Jim Phillips. There also are networking events with ADs on the first two nights of the forum. Big Ten senior associate commissioner Mark Rudner will represent the league.

The Big Ten has sent 22 coaches to the event, formerly called the Minority Coaches Forum, between 2006-2012 (no event was held in 2011). Five of those attendees -- Don Treadwell, Darrell Hazell, Mike Locksley, Ron English and Garrick McGee -- went on to become FBS head coaches. Hazell, who took over at Purdue in December, is the Big Ten's first African-American head coach since Bobby Williams at Michigan State (2000-02) and just the fourth in league history.

Michigan State secondary coach Harlon Barnett and Northwestern receivers coach Dennis Springer attended last year's Champion Forum.

Sherman, hired by Hazell in January, spent the past seven seasons as Virginia Tech's receivers coach. His other FBS stops include Wake Forest and Ohio.

Withers already has been a head coach, albeit on an interim basis with North Carolina in 2011 after the school fired Butch Davis weeks before the season. He has been defensive coordinator at North Carolina, Minnesota and Louisville and also coached defensive backs at Texas and with the NFL's Tennessee Titans, among others.
A Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl win against TCU took the sting off of a mostly disappointing season for Michigan State. Picked by many (ahem) to win the Big Ten, the Spartans went 7-6, dropping five games by a total of 13 points, including all four Big Ten home contests. Mark Dantonio's squad resumes its primary mission -- to claim a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl appearance -- when it returns to the practice field Tuesday. Dantonio shuffled his offensive staff after coordinator Dan Roushar left for the NFL's New Orleans Saints, and Michigan State will have competition at quarterback, running back and other positions. The defense once again looks very good but needs to fill some gaps.

ESPN.com caught up with Dantonio this week to talk spring ball.

What are some of your primary objectives for the spring?

Mark Dantonio: The first thing we have to do is address where we're at and look forward. We have a new staff member on each side of the ball, and there's no question that we can improve on both sides of the ball. With that being said, there's a lot of experience coming back. There are areas every football team needs to address. Some of that is concept-based. We're going to try new things and move from there. Our objectives will be to get out of there without getting people hurt and move forward as a program, allow our young players, the guys who redshirted, to make a move on the depth chart and then solidify our No. 1s.

What will be different offensively with Dave [Warner] the lead play-caller and Jim [Bollman] coming in from the outside?

[+] EnlargeMark Dantonio
Mike Carter/USA TODAY SportsMark Dantonio's squad will look to improve on their disappointing 2012 season.
MD: Everybody is unique with their thought process, so you can promote from within or bring from the outside, and there's going to be some difference. With the addition of Jim Bollman, you bring in a guy who has experience at Michigan State (he was a Spartans assistant from 1995-97), not just experience offensively. Dave already knows what we do. But that's going to bring new ideas into what we're doing. Brad Salem, he'll be working with the quarterbacks, so it's a little bit of change. Mark Staten will still be with the offensive line and Terry Samuel will be with the wide receivers. There is change. We have a base of where we're at, and we'll move from there. It's not like we're reinventing the wheel. We have a base, and we need to grow from that base to improve.

What areas need to be improved on that side of the ball?

MD: When you look at where we were at last year, we need to improve in the red zone, obviously. We have to catch the ball, protect the quarterback more consistently. But we've got to score touchdowns in the red zone. We had too many field-goal attempts. We had 32. So it's not that we're not getting down there. We're getting down there and stalling out. We're going to work toward that. And then we've got to do some things conceptually that takes you forward.

We need change. There's no question we need some change in some areas, but there's also a lot of good things we've done. We've won a lot of football games here. When you look at last season, we were so close in so many different areas from having another 10-, 11-win season.

(Read full post)

In a somewhat surprising move, Michigan State announced late Friday afternoon that defensive line coach Ted Gill won't return for the 2013 season.

Gill's contract runs through March 31 and "will not be renewed," head coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement.

"He has been a contributing member of my coaching staff for nine years, including the last six seasons here at Michigan State," Dantonio's statement reads. "I wish Ted the best in his future endeavors."

Gill has served as Dantonio's defensive line coach since Dantonio led Cincinnati's program. Gill also has coached defensive line in the NFL (Carolina Panthers), CFL (Montreal Alouettes) and XFL (Los Angeles Extreme) and at another Big Ten school (Iowa). He served as Oklahoma State's defensive coordinator in 1995.

Michigan State ranked fourth nationally in total defense and eighth in rush defense last season. The Spartans' pass rush wasn't as strong as expected (93rd nationally in sacks, 42nd in tackles for loss), but the unit's overall performance certainly stood out.

Staff continuity has been a hallmark for Dantonio throughout his tenure at Michigan State. The only coaches he has lost -- Don Treadwell and Dan Enos -- left for head coaching opportunities elsewhere.

Perhaps Gill is headed for retirement after nearly four decades in coaching. We'll see. If not, this move seems odd.
Coaching changes defined the Big Ten's offseason, but one of the most significant moves in the league was made to keep a key assistant in place.

Michigan State retained defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi after he turned down a lucrative opportunity to go to Texas A&M in the same role. Narduzzi, who earned $233,000 last year, would receive a substantial raise to stay in East Lansing.

That raise is now known, as the Detroit Free Press first reported. Narduzzi will be paid $500,000, more than doubling his previous salary. All of Mark Dantonio's assistants received salary increases following a season where the Spartans won the Legends Division title and the Outback Bowl, and recorded 11 victories for the second consecutive season.

As expected, Narduzzi received the biggest increase ($267,000), although his salary ranks behind several Big Ten assistants, including Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell ($750,000) and Michigan coordinators Greg Mattison ($750,000) and Al Borges ($650,000). Given Narduzzi's success the past few seasons, his compensation seems reasonable, given the market.
"I think coach Narduzzi's going to be a head coach," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said Thursday. "I think coach Narduzzi believes in this program. What we did is we sat down and said, 'Here's a compensation that gets you in the frame, but also an opportunity for you to achieve what you really want to achieve, which is a head-coaching position.' He and some of the other [assistant] positions were very far off from the norm, and now I believe they're in the norm."

Some of the other reported raises include a $75,000 bump for offensive coordinator Dan Roushar from $230,000 to $305,000; $33,000 raises for secondary coach Harlon Barnett and linebackers/secondary coach Mike Tressel, from $170,000 to $203,000; and $30,000 raises for offensive line coach Mark Staten and running backs coach Brad Salem from $170,000 to $200,000.

Dantonio often credits Michigan State's success to staff continuity. The only assistants who have left the program in his tenure -- Don Treadwell and Dan Enos -- did so for FBS head-coaching positions elsewhere.

Narduzzi's time will come soon, but Michigan State took an important step by keeping its top assistant in East Lansing for another year.
Mark Dantonio has lost only two assistants during his tenure at Michigan State, and both men -- Dan Enos and Don Treadwell -- left for head-coaching positions elsewhere.

Like several Big Ten programs, Michigan State ties its recent success to continuity on the coaching staff. Dantonio would like to keep it that way heading into 2012.

"I hope so," Dantonio told ESPN.com on Friday. "You never know how things change as you go through January, but our staff has been a big part of our success here. Great people, great teachers, great relationships with their players. It's one of the main reasons we're having great success."

Spartans defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi appeared to be the likeliest candidate to move onto a head-coaching position. Narduzzi, who guided the No. 5 defense this season, had been mentioned for vacancies at both Illinois and Akron, which since have been filled. While the coaching carousel is still spinning, it's a decent bet Narduzzi remains in East Lansing for another year.

But he needs to get paid. So do Dantonio's other assistants after what the program has done the past few seasons.

Narduzzi reportedly earned $235,000 this year. Offensive coordinator Dan Roushar earned $232,000, while the other assistants pocketed between $165,500-$182,550.

Michigan State's salaries are in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten, although comparable programs such as Wisconsin and Iowa both have a higher-paid assistant than the Spartans (Paul Chryst and Ken O'Keefe, respectively). Narduzzi certainly would appear in line to be one of the league's highest-paid aides.

Michigan State has pledged its commitment to Dantonio, who in October received a new contract designed to keep him a "Spartan for life." Dantonio has voiced the need to recognize his assistants' contributions as well, and he has received favorable feedback from the school's administration.

"When you see the pay scales for assistants and coordinators and things of that nature, we have to be able to keep pace with other people or we're going to lose [assistants]," Dantonio said. "Inevitably, this is a job and you have to worry about the benefits to your family long-term. Michigan State's a football program that's won 10 games this year, 11 games last year. We're on the cusp of something great here, but we haven't done this alone. This hasn't been just the head coach. It's been the assistants as well.

"People will recognize that. [Athletic director] Mark Hollis recognizes that and is doing everything possible to put us on equal footing financially."
While State College will be the center of the college football world Saturday, another significant Big Ten game is taking place hundreds of miles away in Iowa City. Michigan State and Iowa meet at Kinnick Stadium in a matchup with enormous implications for the Legends division. Both teams control their own fate with only one division loss (in Michigan State's case, just one Big Ten loss).

Michigan State will try to do what few Big Ten teams have accomplished this season -- win a big game on the road. The Spartans are 1-2 away from East Lansing this season and got spanked 37-6 last year at Iowa, which handed Michigan State its first and only regular-season loss.

I caught up with Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio on Wednesday to discuss the matchup.

[+] EnlargeMark Dantonio
Andrew Weber/US PresswireSpartans coach Mark Dantonio's team is heading into a tough road environment this week against Iowa.
When did Iowa first come to mind as a program you wanted to model Michigan State after when you took over in East Lansing?

Mark Dantonio: When I was here before, toward the tail end of my time here as an assistant, Kirk Ferentz had just been hired [as Iowa's coach]. They were a football team that for the first couple years struggled a little bit, but over the course of time, when we played them when I was at Ohio State, and also when I was at Cincinnati, they made their way in this conference. They gradually continued to get better until they were at the top of the conference. And they've been there pretty traditionally since then. Always in contention.

So when I became the head football coach here, I looked at football programs that have some similarities to ours in terms of what challenges they may have, those types of things. And I thought, 'Here's Iowa, good defensive football team, built on toughness, built on stability, continuity on their coaching staff, good fan support, but not one of the programs that were set up for the ages, I guess.' So I felt like that was a program to try and emulate, and we went about our business to try and do those things.

Our coaching staff has remained intact for the most part, losing two guys who became head football coaches [Don Treadwell and Dan Enos]. We've gradually made our way. We've been able to compete for a championship, and we find ourselves in the thick of things now. We're working toward it. We're not there yet.

In terms of players, did you feel you had to recruit similar types of players as Iowa? They've done really well talking walk-ons and kids that might not be the most decorated recruits and have gotten them to the NFL.

MD: We put an emphasis on recruiting who's going to fit our program as a person, number one, and number two, who's going to fit our program's needs. I think Iowa does the same thing. They don't get caught up in how many stars are behind someone's name. A great example of that with us is Le'Veon Bell. It was us and Bowling Green, and we offered him and he came here and has become a tremendous player. We have some four-star players and that type of thing as well, but this program, we're trying to recruit to our needs as much as anything. We spend a lot of time looking at the player, evaluating that guy, not just on film but in person as well.

Iowa has been able to compete with the traditional power programs in the league. Where is Michigan State in that realm in your mind?

MD: We're coming. We've beaten Ohio State. We've beaten Michigan four straight years. We're competing on equal footing with Penn State, 2-2 in the four [previous] years since we've been here. We're 3-2 against Wisconsin. The one program we've not got is the one that we're trying to emulate. But we've had close games with them, other than last year. It'll be a great challenge for us, but we're excited about the opportunity, and we're excited about where we're at. We recruited a lot of these guys -- Kirk Cousins and others -- with the idea that we can get to this next step, we can get to a championship-type game and we can get to a Rose Bowl. Now we're in control of our own destiny, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel in that respect. Now it's important we meet the challenge.

How big of a step is this game, then, in terms of taking that jump as a program?

MD: It's a statement game, I think, in terms of going away from home and winning on the road, especially after last year and things. It's a challenge game. And usually when you're challenged, you tend to take it personal. But a tough challenge, a good football team we're playing, well-coached. Their team is built on toughness and execution as well.

You've been open about how your season is going to be largely decided on the road. Obviously, you had a rough outing last time at Nebraska. How have guys handle the road environments so far?

MD: We've played three on the road, and some tough ones. We've gone down to Notre Dame, we've played at Ohio State and we've played at Nebraska. We're 1-2 right now, so we've got two more left, and both of them will be challenges. You evaluate that at the end, but we need to go more mentally prepared maybe than we were this past time at Nebraska. We have to create our momentum. Momentum won't be created by the crowd.

How do you feel about the offense coming out of the Minnesota game and into this one?

MD: I felt Kirk Cousins played very well. He only has five interceptions for the entire season. He makes great decisions. Have to continue to try and run the ball more effectively and keep balance so we can protect our quarterback, and then we have to just protect him, period. Which we've been able to do. Explosive plays are always very, very important. When we've gotten eight explosive plays or more [in a game], we're 35-5. So that's where it's at. We've got to find explosive plays, either running the football or passing it.

And defensively, we've played pretty well on the road. How do you feel about that group going against a potent offense in Iowa?

MD: It's another challenge for us. They do a great job running the football. They've got a great offensive line, a big, powerful back [Marcus Coker]. He leads the league in rushing. A big-play wide receiver [Marvin McNutt], a quarterback [James Vandenberg] who makes good decisions, can get out of the pocket. So it's a challenge for us. To play well on the road, we've got to play well in the red zone and come up with turnovers and try to take the crowd out of the game and be relentless.

Everyone's new to divisional play, but how do you address that with your players?

MD: They're very aware of what we have to do. We're in control, but all things are not lost if we lose. Our players understand that. It's exciting to look at all the possibilities because there are possibilities across the board on both sides of these divisions, and that's exciting for college football.

Big Ten Friday mailblog

October, 7, 2011
10/07/11
4:30
PM ET
Hope you enjoy the games this weekend. I'm geared up for my first game in Lincoln!

Looks like a lot of folks are miffed by my Penn State prediction. Hey, did you expect me to copy Bennett's picks again?

Jojo from Johnstown, Pa., writes: Adam, Let me preface this comment by saying that I am a huge PSU loyalist. With that out of the way, how in the world can you possibly pick PSU over Iowa? Really? I just looked at PSU's schedule and other than Purdue, I'm not sure there is another winnable game. Did you make that pick the same way Jaypa and Galen Hall decide which plays to call? You know, with the help of a Ouiga Board?

Adam Rittenberg: Jojo, I know you're down about the Lions right now, and I totally understand why. The offense still has no quarterback, no direction and no identity. But the Penn State defense excites me. Defensive tackle Devon Still has been a beast, and the linebackers are playmakers. Iowa has struggled to run the ball consistently all season, and I expect Penn State to stuff the rushing attack Saturday. The Lions have been excellent against the pass -- sixth nationally in pass yards allowed, only three passing touchdowns allowed -- although Iowa's receivers provide a good test. I could be wrong (check my record, it happens a lot), but I see an ugly, low-scoring affair that Penn State somehow wins. We'll see.


John from Eagan, Minn., writes: Adam, Seriously 10 points for the Hawkeyes on Saturday. I will bet you a bag of Garrett's Popcorn at Navy Pier that Iowa scores more then 10 points. With their top LB and one of the top DB players out for the game, it will be tough for PSU to keep it that low.

Adam Rittenberg: Mmmm, Garrett's. You're on, John. Although if I lose, you might receive a half-eaten bag. Good points about Penn State not having linebacker Michael Mauti and cornerback D'Anton Lynn, but the Lions are a much deeper defense this year, and it all starts up front with Mr. Still at DT.


Joe from Columbus, Ohio, writes: Adam, It seems that Ohio State's offensive line is coming under intense scrutiny after the MSU game. I have to make the point that of the 9 sacks that MSU had, maybe two or three of them were actually the result of poor line play. The Oline is the least of Ohio State's concerns right now. Their biggest concern is the playing calling ability of Jim Bollman. Bottom line, they are not setting their qb's up for success. They are running plays that have limited creativity and there are no adjustments as the game goes on. OSU was running the same plays in the 4th quarter as they were in the 1st. Braxton Miller looks totally lost and I have to say, it isn't entirely his fault. Though he has had time, he cannot get off his first read.

Adam Rittenberg: Joe, while I agree there are problems with the overall play calling and the quarterbacks, you're letting the offensive line off way too easy. Michigan State manhandled Ohio State up front for stretches in the game, and even veteran players like center Mike Brewster struggled with the likes of Jerel Worthy. The line didn't look that bad in the Miami loss, but I saw something change last week against Michigan State, which, to be fair, boasts an excellent defense. It was a lousy performance up front, and as colleague Trevor Matich said Thursday on "College Football Live," Ohio State is having fundamental breakdowns everywhere, including the offensive line. I'd expect a better performance Saturday in Lincoln, and Mike Adams' return at left tackle should provide a boost.


Toby from Smithland, La., writes: Hey Adam, I know the expansion talk is not wanted to be talked about but it is still out there. My question is this. With Missouri wanting to come to the Big Ten, why wouldn't we look at taking them and putting them in the leaders division. If we would need someone in the legends division, why wouldn't we go after a big east team to fill that spot. Someone like West Virginia or Louisville. Geographically, it would be a good choice.

Adam Rittenberg: Toby, of the three teams you mention, Missouri is the only one the Big Ten would seriously consider adding. West Virginia and Louisville simply don't fit the Big Ten's profile in several areas, namely academics. I know it's hard for fans to understand, but it's not only about geography. Also, I've talked with Big Ten ADs and a league administrator in the past week and there's still no movement on expansion. The Big Ten is happy at 12, and unless all heck breaks loose elsewhere -- which it might --- the league won't be forced to expand just to expand.


Jon from Chicago writes: Adam, You seem surprised that my man Bob Asmussen picked the Illini in the Rose Bowl. This is pure speculation at this point, but I don't think that it's too far fetched. Wisconsin looks basically unbeatable, and an undefeated season would likely put them in the BCS National title game. The Illinois/Michigan game in Champaign looks like a toss-up at this point. The Illini will lose to Wisconsin. Now, if the Illini are able to get past Michigan, and - this is a HUGE and, given recent history - win the games they are supposed to, that leaves the Illini with one regular season loss. Whoever loses to Wisconsin in the B1G championship game (NU or Michigan) will likely have at least two losses, and I doubt would be ahead of Illinois in the BCS picture. I understand that there is a long way to go, but Bob's prediction certainly doesn't appear to be unfathomable. Especially, Adam, since you have the Illini way up on your power rankings, I'm surprised by your surprise!

Adam Rittenberg: Jon, you're right, I probably shouldn't have been so surprised. Just to see an Illinois team no one ranked in the preseason projected in the Rose Bowl after five home wins was a bit startling. Yes, Illinois could get there if everything falls right, and the schedule is so beneficial that 10 or 11 regular-season wins is realistic. I like the Illini a lot, but they've been fortunate the past three weeks on their home field. Now the road schedule is really, really easy, but the Penn State contest isn't a gimme. Neither is Ohio State next week in Champaign. The Buckeyes will be desperate, and while Illinois always plays Ohio State tough, the Illini will be in the unfamiliar position of being favored in that matchup. Could Illinois reach Pasadena? Sure. But a lot of things have to go its way.


Mike from Boston writes: My fantasy team has been terrible the past few years so I decided to go with an all-Big Ten team this year. I had no expectations but all of a sudden I'm 3-1 and contending (thank you, Eric Decker). Mendenhall looks questionable this week and it's decision time: do I pick up a non-B1G replacement or stick with what's working and hope Pierre Thomas or Roy Helu finally gets some touches?

Adam Rittenberg: Mike, you're seriously asking me for fantasy football advice? Have you seen how my fantasy team has fared this year against Bennett's? I like Pierre Thomas a lot, but don't blame me if you struggle this week. My track record speaks for itself. Ugh.


Ryan from Afghanistan writes: Hey Adam, first and foremost thanks to you and Brian for keeping us up to date over here on B1G news. I think by now we can say that MSU has one of the most impressive defenses in the country, especially considering their youth. That being said, their offense has had obvious struggles this year and most people point to the offensive line as the issue. I cannot watch the games here so I am just going by what I read, but it sure seems as though MSU's offensive woes could be coming from play calling. Coach D is a primarily defensive oriented coach, and maybe I am being too hard on Roushar... but what he is calling seems as though it is not working. Nobody has mentioned the departure of Don Treadwell as a possible cause for the lack of offensive production. He did orchestrate an impressive win against Wisconsin last year when coach D was in the hospital. What are your thoughts? Go Green!

Adam Rittenberg: Ryan, first of all, thanks for everything you're doing over there. We really appreciate it! Michigan State's offensive line still remains the primary area of concern as the team hasn't generated a consistent rushing attack. Some of the play calling concerns are warranted, too, and you bring up a good point about losing Treadwell, who did a heck of a job last season. It will be interesting to see what type of game plan Dan Roushar has for Michigan, especially with an extra week to prepare for the Wolverines. Again, there's only so much you can do when the run game is spotty, and Michigan State needs Kirk Cousins to be a bit better with his decision-making, but Roushar isn't immune from critiques.


Jeff from Ann Arbor, Mich., writes: Rittenberg, how do you have a worse record than Brian in predictions? 42-10 vs. 39-13, you're 3 games back! In light of this, I did some digging and based on (A) your first post to The Blog [ed. http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/1/welcome-to-big-ten-football ] and (B) the welcome post for Brian [ed. http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/27523/big-ten-blog-gets-bigger-and-better ] you have over 1000 days more experience than he does. I'm starting to lose faith in you Old Timer... the cake games are over, we're in conference play now!

Adam Rittenberg: Jeff, he's killing me. I'm thinking of ways to eliminate him, including sending him back to the lowly Big East. On the bright side, I am 6-0 so far in Big Ten games after a perfect Week 5. The problem: Bennett went 6-0, too. The predictions differential upsets me more than the fantasy team deal. I'd still take my team, led by Russell Wilson, Marvin McNutt and others, over his one-dimensional quarterbacks.

Big Ten Week 3 preview

September, 12, 2011
9/12/11
8:30
AM ET
Week 2 contained a few bumps in the road for the Big Ten. What does Week 3 hold? Glad you asked (all times ET):

No. 17 Ohio State (2-0) at Miami (0-1), 7 p.m., ESPN: The Ineligi-Bowl. A Florida (Wins) Vacation. Yes, the two teams' NCAA troubles will dominate the pregame storylines, but this is also a big test for a Buckeyes squad that struggled to get past Toledo at home Saturday.

No. 22 Arizona State (2-0) at Illinois (2-0) 7 p.m., Big Ten Network: After two blowout wins over lesser competition, the Illini try to prove they're for real. The Sun Devils slipped past Illinois rival Missouri in overtime last Friday.

Washington (2-0) at No. 10 Nebraska (2-0), 3:30 p.m., ABC: Rubber match? Nebraska blew out the Huskies early in the regular season last year and then got beat by Washington in the Holiday Bowl for a startling reversal of fortune. The Cornhuskers' defense will hope for a stronger performance than in Saturday's 42-29 win over Fresno State.

No. 15 Michigan State (2-0) at Notre Dame (0-2), 3:30 p.m., NBC: The Irish are staring down the barrel of an 0-3 start and figure to approach this game with heavy desperation. The Spartans get their first road challenge in a season full of them.

Penn State (1-1) at Temple (2-0), Noon, ESPN: The Nittany Lions look to bounce back from the Alabama loss by playing a team they have beaten 36 times in 40 meetings (with one tie in there). Temple outscored its first two opponents 83-10.

No. 7 Wisconsin (2-0) at Northern Illinois (1-1) 3:30 p.m., ESPN3.com: Jump Around at Soldier Field. Northern Illinois is technically the home team and is smarting after a last-second, 45-42 loss at Kansas on Saturday. NIU is coached by Dave Doeren, who was the Badgers' defensive coordinator last season.

Pittsburgh (2-0) at Iowa (1-1), Noon, ESPN2: Pitt is 2-0 under first-year coach Todd Graham but had to hold off Maine last week. Still, Iowa would sure like to be 2-0 right now.

Northwestern (2-0) at Army (0-2) 3:30 p.m., CBS Sports: Week 3 of the Dan Persa watch is in effect. Northwestern hasn't needed him yet and might not again this week.

Eastern Michigan (2-0) at Michigan (2-0) Noon, BTN: Eastern Michigan is 2-0 for the first time since 1989. Of course, those two wins came over a pair of FCS schools in Howard and Alabama State, the latter by just one touchdown. At least the Eagles don't have to travel far for this one.

Miami of Ohio (0-1) at Minnesota (0-2), 3:30 p.m., BTN: We still don't know who will coach Minnesota this week. The RedHawks are also winless so far under new head coach and former Michigan State assistant Don Treadwell.

Southeast Missouri State (0-1) at Purdue (1-1), Noon, BTN: If this game comes down to a blocked kick at the end, we'll know something really weird is going on with Purdue's season.

South Carolina State (1-1) at Indiana (0-2), 3:30 p.m., BTN: After two tough losses to start the Kevin Wilson era, the Hoosiers should finally put one in the victory column this week.
Kirk Cousins would have a right to be worried, or at least curious, about the state of Michigan State's offense entering his senior season.

When a team appoints a new offensive coordinator, no position is affected more than the quarterback, particularly a multiyear starter. Cousins evolved the past two seasons under Don Treadwell, leading the Spartans to their first Big Ten title since 1990 last fall. But Treadwell left in January to become head coach at Miami (Ohio), and Michigan State promoted line coach Dan Roushar to coordinator.

[+] EnlargeKirk Cousins
AP Photo/Gene J. PuskarKirk Cousins said he feels "great about the direction" of the offense under new coordinator Dan Roushar.
How did Cousins react to the move? He wasn't concerned nor anxious, not in the least. He didn't meet with Roushar for hours on end discussing the scheme. While he'll miss Treadwell, he has full faith that Roushar will get the job done.

After all, Roushar had faith in Cousins when few others did.

"When I came in, I was a two-star recruit," Cousins told me Thursday, "so I kind of had that feeling, 'Do I belong?' I was a late addition to the recruiting class, so you start to have those doubts. Can I play here? Am I good enough? Am I just a last guy on the roster, a leftover pick? You start to have those thoughts. It doesn't make you work any less harder; if anything, you work harder.

"But you're looking for somebody who believes in you, who sees something in you and who really thinks you can be somebody some day."

For Cousins, Roushar was that person. A former quarterback at Northern Illinois, Roushar coached signal-callers early in his career and had served as an offensive coordinator at several places, including Illinois in 2004.

"He'd come over, whether it was in practice, in a meeting, in the offseason just stopping by his office, and he would just let me know, 'Hey, you did a great job,'" Cousins recalled. "I remember my redshirt freshman year, when I played in backup duty behind Brian [Hoyer], he was very affirming of how I played. Back then, you're really looking for encouragement, for somebody to believe in you.

"That meant a lot at that time, and going forward, I have a lot of respect for him."

If Michigan State had hired a new coordinator from outside the program, Cousins imagines he would have had multiple meetings before the first practice to build a foundation of trust. While he and Roushar talked a bit before spring ball kicked off Tuesday, they already had a bond.

Roushar won't make wide-sweeping changes to the system, and Cousins is confident about the offense's future.

"He's been an offensive coordinator, he's coached just about every offensive position, so he has a wide-sweeping perspective," said Cousins, who completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,825 yards with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2010. "The offensive line coach is a guy a lot of quarterbacks are going to talk to.

"We're definitely on the same page, and I feel great about the direction we're going."
Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans hit the practice field later Tuesday for the first of 15 spring workouts.

Let's take a quick look at the defending Big Ten co-champs this spring:

The big story: Taking the next step. Michigan State broke through by winning the Big Ten title for the first time in two decades. But with a chance to, as Dantonio put it, "measure up" in the Capital One Bowl, the Spartans got crushed by Alabama. The Big Ten should be wide open this fall, and if the Spartans repeat as champs, they'll cement themselves as an upper-tier program. The first step: upgrade play along both lines. Sure, Michigan State must replace two standout linebackers (Greg Jones and Eric Gordon), a gifted cornerback (Chris L. Rucker) and some valuable pass-catchers (Mark Dell and Charlie Gantt), but if the Spartans don't get to a Wisconsin/Iowa/Ohio State level with their lines, they'll hit a ceiling as a program.

Position in the spotlight: Offensive and defensive line. No surprises here as Michigan State tries to firm up both units. The offensive front loses both starting tackles (D.J. Young and J'Michael Deane) and its starting center (John Stipek), creating plenty of competition this spring to fill the gaps. Most of Michigan State's top defensive linemen return, including tackle Jerel Worthy, but the coaches will be looking for more pass rushers to emerge.

Coaching changes: Only one but it was significant. Offensive coordinator/receivers coach Don Treadwell departed to become head coach at Miami (Ohio). Dantonio promoted offensive line coach Dan Roushar to coordinator and hired Terrence Samuel from Central Michigan to work with the receivers. Mark Staten now will coach the line. Roushar will run a similar system as Dantonio wants to maintain continuity.

Keep an eye on: Le'Veon Bell. After a brilliant start to his college career, Bell seemed to hit the freshman wall in mid-October and had only 56 rushing yards in his final seven games. The Spartans want to emphasize the run more and will look to complement Edwin Baker with another dangerous back. Bell enters his second spring hoping to make big strides.

Spring game: April 30
Indiana's coaching staff has been finalized for 2011.

For real this time.

Kevin Wilson has filled his lone remaining staff vacancy with Miami (Ohio) assistant Deland McCullough, who will coach Indiana's running backs. McCullough served as an offensive/special-teams intern for Miami last season and remained on the RedHawks' staff after Don Treadwell took over as coach. Treadwell promoted McCullough to running backs coach.

McCullough starred at running back for Miami from 1992-95 while Wilson served as the team's offensive coordinator. He set the Mid-American Conference career rushing yards record before going on to play in the NFL, CFL and XFL.
“Deland was a great player, is a better person and is on track to be an excellent coach,” Wilson said in a prepared statement. “He is a guy that was on my radar from the start. We have a great relationship dating back to our days together at Miami and Deland is on board with what we want to accomplish.”

McCullough replaces Jemal Singleton, one of four assistants Wilson hired at Indiana who soon left for other jobs. He takes over a group that has struggled to produce in recent years but boasts some talent with players like Darius Willis, Antonio Banks and Matt Perez.

Here's Indiana's complete staff for 2011:

Defense

Doug Mallory: Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
Mike Ekeler: Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
Mark Hagen: Defensive Tackles/Special Teams Coordinator
Brett Diersen: Defensive Ends/Recruiting Coordinator
Brandon Shelby: Cornerbacks

Offense

Kevin Johns: Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers
Rod Smith: Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Greg Frey: Offensive Line
Deland McCullough: Running Backs

Spartans name Samuel as WRs coach

February, 11, 2011
2/11/11
11:44
AM ET
Michigan State made it official Friday and announced the hiring of Terrence Samuel as receivers coach.

Samuel, who comes from Central Michigan's staff, completes the replacement of Don Treadwell. Treadwell served as the team's offensive coordinator and also coached the receivers.
“We had a number of outstanding candidates apply for the position, but Terrence Samuel really emerged as the top candidate during the interview process,” Dantonio said in a prepared statement. “Terrence did a great job during a chalkboard session with the offensive staff, and he did equally well in a teaching session with some of our current players. I had the opportunity to first talk with Terrence at the American Football Coaches Association Convention and then again here on campus, so he went through an extensive interview process.

"He has coached a variety of positions on both sides of the ball plus he’s been both an offensive and special teams coordinator, so Terrence has well-rounded football knowledge. He also has had a chance to learn from some outstanding head coaches along the way, including two years as a graduate assistant with John Mackovic at Arizona."

Samuel played receiver at Purdue from 1991-94. He inherits a deep group of receivers in East Lansing led by B.J. Cunningham, Keshawn Martin and Keith Nichol.

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