While Mark Dantonio’s resignation from Michigan State may not have been a total shock as something that could happen eventually, few saw it coming when it did. The longtime Spartans head coach stepped down just a day before National Signing Day earlier this month.
It doesn’t sound like his players expected the move to come when it did either. Starting quarterback Brian Lewerke is among them. He spoke to reporters from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis today, and said that he was “shocked” when the news first came down. He was especially surprised that the decision came this year.
“No, not this year,” Lewerke said, via 247Sports. “It shocked me at first. It was sad to see him go. He’s been one of the best, if not the best, coaches in that program.
That being said, Lewerke thought that Dantonio could step away over the next few years. He says that he believes that the 63-year old just grew a bit “tired” of the coaching grind: “I was kind of expecting it in a couple of years or so. But I wasn’t expecting it this soon. He’s a great guy and obviously he loves coaching, but like he said, he was just a little tired of it.”
— 247Sports (@247Sports) February 26, 2020
While the timing probably wasn’t ideal for Michigan State, the Big Ten program conducted a pretty aggressive coaching search in the days following Mark Dantonio’s resignation.
The Spartans wound up circling back to where the search started, making a godfather offer to Colorado head coach Mel Tucker, a former assistant with Dantonio under Nick Saban at Michigan State. The Wisconsin grad also has experience at Alabama, Georgia, and LSU. He was 5-7 in one year as head coach at Colorado.
It is unclear whether Dantonio will coach again, though most can probably imagine him reemerging in a year or two at another major program, after he’s refreshed a bit. That may depend on any potential investigations into the program after allegations from former staffer Curtis Blackwell, of course.