A lot of changes are coming to Michigan State this offseason. Mark Dantonio is out and set to be replaced by Mel Tucker. But Dantonio isn’t the only coach leaving East Lansing. Longtime Michigan State assistant coach Ken Mannie is apparently leaving, too.
On Thursday, Mannie announced on Twitter that he is retiring. Mannie has been coaching for 45 years and has served as the Spartans’ strength & conditioning coach since the mid-1990s. He was the longest-tenured coach of any Big Ten program.
In his retirement message, Mannie reflected on his time in East Lansing and thanked everyone there. He revealed that he had known for a year that 2019 would be his last with the Spartans.
“After 45 years in coaching, the last 25 spent here at Michigan State, I have decided to retire,” Mannie wrote. “It is a decision that my wife, Marianne, and I came to a little over a year ago. For the past several years, it has been ‘let’s go one more,’ as coaching, teaching, and mentoring have been my life’s passions. All of the mentors I truly respect and admire are coaches and teachers, and they inspired me to pursue this path – one that has blessed us with so many cherished moments and memories.”
Spent the past several months informing family and close friends. Wanted to wait till things settled a bit on the current situation to make this public. So much gratitude to express over the ensuing months…but here’s a start. And players…let’s finish this week off strong! pic.twitter.com/tgppZfRuCT
— Ken Mannie (@SpartanEarned1) February 13, 2020
Mannie’s coaching career includes a stint at Ohio State where he met Dantonio, and a nine-year tenure at Toledo, during which he met Nick Saban. When Saban was hired as head coach of the Spartans in December 1994, he brought Mannie with him.
But when Saban left, Mannie decided to stick around. He ultimately outlasted Bobby Williams, John L. Smith, and even Dantonio.
In fairness, the timing really couldn’t be much better for Mannie. New head coach Mel Tucker will surely bring in his own coaching staff, with some of his own people for every role.
Mannie now gets to ride into the sunset on his own terms.
Happy trails, Ken!