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Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Mark Dantonio: Rumors 'flattering'

ESPN.com news services

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Mark Dantonio doesn't see Michigan State as a springboard for something else as the Spartans' coach brushed off the notion Tuesday that he could leave for another job.

"I see Michigan State as the destination, not a stop," Dantonio said. "It's flattering, but that's the way I see it."

Dantonio I see Michigan State as the destination, not a stop. It's flattering, but that's the way I see it.

-- Mark Dantonio, Michigan State coach,
on college coaching rumors

The No. 4 Spartans (12-1) will face No. 5 Stanford (12-1) in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. It will be Michigan State's first appearance in the game in 26 seasons.

The 57-year-old Dantonio is is 63-29 with Michigan State over seven seasons. Consistent with the stability he has built for the program, Dantonio wants to keep his entire coaching staff together.

That seems much more likely since defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, the 2013 Broyles Award winner as the nation's top assistant coach, withdrew as a candidate to become the coach at Connecticut.

"It's my hope to keep our entire staff together," Dantonio said. "To have Coach Narduzzi remain here is a tremendous asset."

Narduzzi is often credited with helping the Spartans rank among the nation's top five defenses for three straight years. They are ranked No. 1 overall this season.

Though the coaching carousel keeps spinning, it seems more likely that Narduzzi will stay with the Spartans.

"Obviously, it was close," Narduzzi said of a move to be closer to his roots. "... The staff I have to work with here every day is the best in the country. I hate to break up the party we have going on right now."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.