Texas Targeted Mark Dantonio in Their Coaching Search

By DJ Byrnes on July 11, 2014 at 11:36a

Mark Dantonio has called Michigan State a "destination spot," in the past, but had Charlie Strong not crushed his interview with Texas, the Michigan State frontman might have had his philosophy tested.

It was revealed today Dantonio was part of a final pool of six targets that Texas athletic director Steve Patterson had whittled down from 30.

From Athlon Sports:

Those finalists included James Franklin, now at Penn State, UCLA’s Jim Mora, Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio and Baylor’s Art Briles.

In the end, Patterson says he was struck by Strong’s desire to have the interview in the kitchen of his Louisville home with Strong’s wife and two daughters sitting there with him.

Texas definitely has more money than Michigan State, and they say every man has a price... but damn, that would've been wild had they plucked Dantonio out of East Lansing.

(I assume Pat Narduzzi would've slid over to the head coaching spot?) 


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You can't spell chump without UM's picture

Well can you blame them? Dantonio is a hell of a coach. He would actually play some defense in the Big 12 for a change.

Brady Hoke ate my comment

+10 HS
BucksfanXC's picture

I like having good coaches in the B1G. Keep 'em hear and make the conference strong again. SOS will be better. Our teams making it through the season will be better and ready to win some Championships/playoffs. Mark is a great coach who has done great things for MSU. I hope he continues to do well, unless it's against the Buckeyes

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

We need more Coach Dantonios in this conference. Long live Dino!

+4 HS
GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

yep. I like Andersen at Wisconsin, I think Ferentz needs to find a DC though and Iowa could become Sparty like. Jim Bollman to replace Ferentz in less than 3 years! you heard it here first!!!   The AIRBHG would be licking its chops at some DAVE.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

+1 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

Wow, Texas really blew it on that one.  The Texas HS coaches would have LOVED MD.  He would have gotten any of the Texas talent he wanted.

RenegadeBuckeye's picture

Texas has blown it a lot recently...(insert joke here)...and it doesn't sound like the beginning of the Charlie Strong era is going over so well either. Maybe UT and UF can trade their HC's. The former HC-in-waiting, Muschamp, goes back to Texas, and Strong becomes the Urban disciple that will return UF to their former glory under Meyer. Everybody wins. 

Also, Dino will never leave Sparty. As long as there are talented athletes with marginal academic ability in Ohio, he'll always have a fresh supply of recruits. (This will be a learning moment for me. My mind tells me to delete this sentence because of a potential backlash...but my mind also doesn't give a shit...it's kinda like the left twix vs.the right twix thing, but not really).

+4 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

I don't necessarily agree with your academics statement, but you played it well. Most importantly, if MSU can be the second choice behind OSU for Ohio talent, he'll do fine. Ohio State can't take all of the top in-state talent, and some are bound to slip through the recruiting cracks. 

Patriot4098's picture

Your left twix/right twix inner monolog just earned you an UV.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

rock flag and eagle's picture

I don't think Texas blew it by choosing Strong over Dantonio.  They are practically the same coach.  They are very similar coaches, but Strong is younger and doesn't have Dantonio's history of health problems. 

Think about this.  Dantonio was part of a national championship team as defensive coordinator.  Strong was def-coor for TWO national championship teams.  Advantage Strong.

Dantonio's coaching record is 82-46 (.641).  Strong's record is 37-16 (.698). Advantage Strong.

Dantonio has 2 Big Ten championships in 7 seasons (no C-USA championships as Cincy's coach).  Strong has 2 Big East Championships in 4 seasons.  Both coaches have won one BCS bowl game as a head coach.  Dantonio beat a two-loss Stanford, Strong beat a one-loss Florida.  Push?

And, while Dantonio's Spartans finished 2013 with the #2 ranked defense in the country, Strong's Cardinals finished with the #1 ranked defense in the country. 

They are essentially the same coach, except Strong is still going "strong," while Dantonio is four years older and already has a major health scare on his resume.

+1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

he's my second favorite (active) coach in college football. Dino is the man!

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

+3 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

Just wait till Florida comes calling after this year and we will get to see how that hypothetical would have played out. Though Mark D. does seem more like a lonestar beer guy to me.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

+1 HS
Patriot4098's picture

Lonestar beer guy, yes. BUT I'd argue that UF is a better fit. Less pressure. Texas is high maintenance.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I always thought that Dino would end up taking over for JT someday. I think that's why I handled the MSU loss hard. I really like Dantonio, and I feel like when I'm watching Sparty play now, I feel like I'm watching our old teams play. I think he is an excellent coach, and I hope he stays in East Lansing for a long time even if he is a pain in our asses. As long as he keeps popping squats over Ann Arbor's chest I'm cool with him.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

+1 HS
AngryWoody's picture

Dantonio wouldn't be a good fit for Texas. He doesn't have the personality to be a figurehead for a big program like that. Don't get me wrong, Dantonio is an amazing coach, but at a school like Texas there are so many asses to kiss and hands to shake. I think Dantonio would sooner scoop out his eyeballs with breakfast spoons than deal with the politics of that job. Not to mention the fact that he struggles in the recruiting department.

Our Honor Defend!

SilverBullet-98's picture

Dantonio built up Cinny's program after helping Ohio State win a National Championship with his defense.

Then went and turned around MSU.

I would have handled Dantonio well as the OSU coach but the knock on him was age and health and whether he could do it in the B1G.

He did it, but I don't think Buckeye fans would have been as patient as the MSU fans were... They were used to mediocre, so Dantonio had more time to rebuild there. Also he had experience with MSU and loyal assistant coaches.

The coaching staff at MSU is very similar to what Ohio St.'s might have looked like with plenty of Ohio St past flavorings in it.

"The Past Builds the Future"

MN Buckeye's picture

Dantonio is a very solid coach, deserving of being in the conversation for any top coaching job. Sparty has a ways to go with facilities, but they have done so much more with less than MI with regard to budget, facilities, and lower-rated recruits.

+1 HS
BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

Mark Dantonio will be the next coach of the Florida Gators.

whiskeyjuice's picture

Huh? Can't tell if this serious or a joke.........

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

Poison nuts's picture

I can't see Dantonio at UF, but every man has his price. I do suspect that job will be open by the end of next year.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

MikeTheBuckeye's picture

Imagine Dantonio's ability to develop players combined with Texas' vast resources and marketability. Texas might actually develop into a powerhouse again, especially on the defensive side of the ball. However, I feel better with him remaining at MSU and within the B1G.

741's picture

Next question.

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

I think Dantonio is a truly great coach. Passionate, ballsy, hates UM and obviously capable of doing more with less. I want him at MSU to make the conference better. Should UFM depart within the next 5 years, I'd want Dino at OSU. 

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.