Friendships Put To Test

Mark Dantonio knows Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos and considers him a friend. How does the Spartans head coach feel about friendships getting in the way of the goal at hand? Dantonio addressed this during his weekly press conference.

The world of college football is filled with coaching trees across the country. Now entering his eighth year as a head coach, Mark Dantonio has seen two of his former assistants take head jobs. This week he'll get to battle friend and one-time assistant coach Dan Enos when the Spartans take on Central Michigan.

When Mark Dantonio was named head coach at the University of Cincinnati in December of 2003, one of the first hires he made was former Michigan State quarterback Dan Enos as his quarterback coach.

Enos, who was then the offensive coordinator at North Dakota State, came highly recommended.

"Coach Enos was one of the first coaches I hired when I was at the University of Cincinnati," said Dantonio. "He came recommended, I knew Dan a little bit, but he came recommended by Pat Shurmur."

Enos would only spend two seasons with Dantonio and the Bearcats before returning to Michigan State. However, Enos left a lasting impression on his boss and when circumstances allowed the two would reunite when Dantonio took over the Spartans program.

"Dan was a guy that we brought in and he was with us for two years there (Cincinnati). He then came back to Michigan State. When one guy did not come from the University of Cincinnati staff, I immediately hired Dan," Dantonio said. "I love his family. I love him. I think he is a Spartan and I think he will do a great job and that he is doing a great job at Central.

"It is a tough week for all of us. It is tough when you are on opposing teams playing against somebody who is a friend of yours. But that is what makes it difficult. I have a lot of respect for him, his football knowledge and the way he has handled his program. But we got to get after business this week and so we will be motivated."

That motivation will come from two sources according to the Spartans head man.

"I think the additional motivation comes from not only this past game, but from what went down here in '09 in terms of CMU beating us and how it went down at the end of the game with an on-side kick, the missed field goal, the jump off-sides field goal, all the different things. We have significant number of players who were here when that happened and coaches who were here when that happened. So just a little bit extra. It may not make a difference, but we'll use what we've got to use."

Having battled against two of his bosses in the past has prepared Dantonio for the battle between friends. However, it does not mean he enjoys it. Would he prefer to play somebody else?

"Yea absolutely I would rather not play them," said Dantonio, "because somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose. Either they are going to feel bad or I am going to feel bad. I rather feel bad, but that is just the nature of it. I've been on the short end of the stick numerous times with (Jim) Tressel, but we'll keep playing. But that is a tough scenario I think at times."

Enos enters the game with a 1-2 record on the year and 4-11 during his CMU tenure.


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