Mark Dantonio joined a select group of Spartans on Saturday against Indiana.
The Michigan State head coach celebrated his 100th game in the role becoming just the fourth coach in school history to hit that mark.
After the game, his players presented him with the game ball from the 56-17 win against Indiana – his 70th win at the helm.
”Tyler O’Connor gave it to me from the field and Kurtis Drummond gave it to me in our locker room, from our football team,” he said. “That represents a team. I look at it as a birthday card from our football team. That’s how I look at it. A card that I’ll always keep, cause we’ll have everybody’s signature on it.”
Drummond said Dantonio had a huge smile on his face in the locker room when he presented him with the game ball.
“It was really cool just to see a guy like that,” he said. “A guy that is just a man of his word and has touched so many lives, a lot of football players, turned so many boys into men and to be able to have the privilege to give a guy like a game ball for the team it means a lot. …
”It always feels good when you can win a milestone game.”
With a mark of 70-30 through his first 100 games, Dantonio has the best mark of the four coaches with at least 100 games coached in their careers at Michigan State, besting George Perles, Duffy Daugherty and Charlie Bachman
”It represents so much to our football team because it represents longevity, which had not been here since coach Perles had come, back in the ‘80s,” Dantonio said. “That’s from the first guy who made the decision to come to Michigan State back in 2007, that includes the guys who decided to stay in 2007 when we came, and that encompasses the guys who came this year, the last guy who signed with us.
“It’s a group effort, and I appreciate our coaches staying, they’ve all had opportunities to leave, our administration, the backing they’ve given us. Our athletic director, our president, board of trustees and Spartan fans in general.’’
Offensive lineman Connor Kruse said it was awesome seeing Dantonio given the game ball, as the eighth-year coach expressed a similar team-focused sentiment to his players.
”He got the ball and said it’s not just about him, it’s about everybody that has been with him this whole time,” Kruse said. “All the people before him and all the people that are with him now, staff that has been here the whole eight years.
”It’s about all of us together. It was really awesome.”